Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Room (2015)

I dug Emma Donoghue’s smash-hit book “Room,” The film, with a screenplay by Donoghue herself, is actually -– get this -– even better. Jack (Jacob Tremblay) is newly 5 and desperately curious about life, but his world is the interior of a backyard shed. He is a prisoner, as is his mother (Brie Larson), held by a man known as “Old Nick.” Ma was taken 7 years before off the street, and has since lived in solitude, her only companion a child by rape. Ma adores Jack, her salvation. But Ma’s soothing lies are unraveling, as is her sanity as Jack grows and Room seems to shrink. “Room” is horrifying in its depiction of the hovel, the effect of rape, malnutrition, isolation, and claustrophobia, before it really turns the screws after. Larson and Tremblay do a masterful job of telegraphing every pain and small joy, and its Donoghue’s dialogue that sells it. Sparse. Sharp. Smart. Even more so than the book, Donoghue and director Lenny Abrahamson know trauma stays with us, it cannot be fully shaken, it destroys families, splits parents. Easy answers? None. Larson and Tremblay deserve every accolade coming. Donoghue, too. A

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