If you are looking for a happy, fun movie for a relaxing night in, Room is not that movie. It is an emotional, stressful, and evocative tale about a young woman, Ma, played by Brie Larson, who was kidnapped as a teenager and has lived hidden away in captivity for seven years. Her captor, a creepy man she calls Old Nick (Sean Bridgers) brings her the bare necessities to survive and consistently rapes her and abuses her. During captivity, she gave birth to a son, Jack, who is 5 at the time of the movie and played by Jacob Tremblay. This horrific description is scarring and leads to many high-stress emotional moments throughout the film. Room is successful as a film just for showing all of these emotions in a genuine fashion, but its true achievement is the amazing ability to relay the story through Jack’s eyes. He has a child’s wonder and naïveté that keeps him from seeing just how horrible his situation is. Jack’s entire life has occurred in the confined shed that he knows only as “Room,” to which the movie owes its name. Jack’s concept of reality is distorted, thinking of things through the lens of his extremely limited spatial understanding: things exist either in Room or in TV. Since he only knows of this limited reality, he refers to most objects with the “zero article,” treating things like unique objects with personal names rather than using definite or indefinite articles to identify a particular objects. For example, he refers to “chair,” “room,” and “door” rather than saying “the chair” or “the door.” This adds to the completeness of how Jack’s world-view is depicted and makes each interaction fascinating, horrifying, and terribly engrossing.
*Spoiler* watching Jack’s reactions following his and Ma’s escape is also very telling for some real-life victims of these kinds of horrible acts. He struggles to adapt to the direct sunlight, the prevalence of germs, and he is afraid of all of the things he’s never seen. The complex emotions of watching Jack experience the World for the first time is truly wondrous and simultaneously depressing.
Overall, Room is the kind of amazing film I never want to see again. I was blown away by this film and was glad I watched it during the day time. Everyone should watch, just prepare yourself a few hours afterward before trying to sleep. Amazing acting by both Larson and Tremblay, the kid definitely could have gotten a nomination and Larson most definitely deserved her awards. I picked Room for Best Picture because it really challenged and affected me more than any other film this year. I think it made the rash of captivity stories in recent years into something more personal and even more horrifying. This film did something unique and took risks, but it succeeded in making an unforgettable experience. Blorg! and Academy Pick: Best Actress; Blorg! Pick: Best Picture
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