Directed by Lenny Abrahamson, Room is a hard film to watch, but worth watching because the story is told so well. Brie Larson won an Oscar for her portrayal of a kidnapped survivor. Since she is from my home time, I am very excited for her achievement.
The story arrives where Joy Newsome, played by Larson, is 7 years into her disappearance when she was a teenager in Ohio. She and her son, Jack, played brilliantly by Jacob Tremblay, celebrate his 5th birthday imprisoned in a 15′ by 15′ shed. “Old Nick,” played by Sean Bridgers, captured Joy, who is Ma to Jack, and regularly rapes her. Thus, they produce Jack. Abrahamson keeps the rape scenes off camera, which helped me get through the movie.
Because she cooperates with Nick, he feeds and provides shelter for her and Jack. Yet, they are still prisoners and never leave the shed with a skylight as their only view of the outside world.
Now that Jack is a big boy, Ma teaches him about the outside world. One scene, which I really like, is where Ma teaches Jack about walls. That there are two sides to a wall. Each side had different things. This builds to the point where Jack escapes, and they both become free.
Once freed, Jack is shy and limited on how to survive in the real world. Still, he is a kid and learns how to adapt quickly. Nancy, played wonderfully by Joan Allen, is Joy’s mother. Nancy and new husband, Doug, played by Tom McCamus, try to help them both as best as they can.
Jack starts to do better, and we see Joy’s mental condition worsen. Larson is brilliant as Joy changes from a loving, protective mother to a woman struggling with mental anguish. Anguish she has tamped down for 7 years while in captivity with Jack. Larson is so believable and remarkable in these moments that I can see why she won the Oscar.
The movie is based on Emma Donoghue’s novel, which she adapted for the screen. Like I said, I usually shy from topics like this because it is so sad, but in the end, I smiled. I recommend this movie.