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Film Review: Room

Age certification: 15
Screenplay: Emma Donoghue
Director: Lenny Abrahamson
Cast: Brie Larson Jacob Tremblay
Genre: Drama/Thriller
Rating: *****


Based on the bestselling novel by Emma Donoghue, Room tells a heartfelt and suspenseful story of a mother ‘Ma’ (Brie Larson) and her five year old son Jack (Jacob Tremblay).


Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 10.33.14
Photo Credit: Phoenix Centre

Ma has dedicated herself completely to keeping Jack safe and happy, playing games with him and reading him endless stories.

Despite circumstances, Ma convinces Jack that their ‘world’ is perfect, a place filled with imagination and possibilities.

Their life however differs from the typical norm- they are trapped, confined for the past 7 years and isolated to a windowless, soundproof 10 by-10 foot space, euphemistically known to Jack as Room.

You feel relentlessly empathetic towards Ma who has given Jack the optimistic and positive view of their life, despite their disturbing situation.

What makes the film so powerful is seeing their life through both Ma and Jack’s eyes.

It’s clever and slightly unsettling seeing things from Jack’s perspective, who has known a life no different than to the confines of that Room.

With Jack growing up, his curiosity grows with him and Ma’s optimism reaches breaking point. Fear for their safety Ma creates a frantic plan to escape their imprisonment.

The second half of the film continues the rawness and realness of a bond so close between mother and son when their world takes a different turn.

Ma and Jack face something possibly scarier than the confines of Room– the real world.

Its heart- rendering from Ma’s perspective who has to adjust back to a life she once knew, once that was filled with safety, love and support. Then from Jack’s who is stepping into a world so alien and uncertain and surreal.

The film is carried beautifully by the two main characters with such powerful and moving performances from both Larson and Tremblay.

A film that truly engrosses and takes you through so many different emotions, one minute you’ll be crying, laughing and even wanting to shout out loud at the screen.

I certainly didn’t come away dry eyed and i’m sure neither will you!

Comparing the book to film is a classically difficult and demeaning tasks and although extremely similar in portrayal of the horrific tale I believe they should be each applauded in their own right and celebrated as different elements.

Lenny Abrahamson has done an incredible job of bringing Room to life and it’s understandable that the film has been nominated for and won so many awards including a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture- Drama.

One of the best films for 2015/16, a must see!


Viewings of Room in Leicester:

Phoenix Centre Cinema:

Showcase Cinema: 


By Jessica Challoner-Sterland 

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