Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Room (2015)

Director: Lenny Abrahamson
Starring: Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, Sean Bridgers, Joan Allen, William H. Macy, Tom McCamus

A young boy called Jack (Tremblay) knows nothing of the make believe world outside the trapped garden shed he calls Room. Here he lives with his mother Joy (Larson), who was kidnapped as a teenager by the man they call Old Nick (Bridgers). Trying to live optimistically, Joy finally confesses that Jack is old enough to learn the truth and explains that there is a live waiting for them outside these walls and the two begin their venture of escape.

Emotional adaptation by Emma Donoghue from her own best-seller is troubled on the basis that it can't possibly live up to the imagination told strongly in the novel from Jake's point-of-view. While Donoghue and director Abrahamson, a mostly art-house director from Ireland, do a good job at keeping things on track, it's hard not to wallow in its own self pity and depressive state and even though young Tremblay is a remarkable find for a seven-year-old, the beauty of 'Room' realised in the book could have been explored more, while other aspects such as Joy's attempted suicide later in the piece is washed over without explanation.

Larson holds her wits and strengths about her while Allen is magnificently cast as her staunch mother. McCamus is the real winner, a perfect juxtaposition to the familiar faces around us. Macy, while great, is left with a small presence - almost cameo-like - and only briefly has an affect on those around him. And that's really the way I feel about the film, that only briefly affected me and a lot was only briefly explained or exploited. Stephen Rennicks sweeping score harks of Elmer Bernstein's To Kill a Mockingbird theme.


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