‘Room’ Review

‘Room’ dives into the strength, the courage and the love that binds a mother and her child, even in the all-too-literal eyes of imminent danger.

‘Room,’ with stellar performances by Brie Larson and newcomer Jacob Tremblay, is an eye-opening performance.

The world outside our front doors can be a mystery to us all, so full of wonderment and immensity. Sure, grass is green and skies are blue, but we as an emotional people look deeper and try to make the vast seem much more meaningful. And crazy enough, in order to welcome insight of such a high standard, Room leads us to believe that all it takes is a little separation anxiety.

Director Lenny Abrahamson, with help from author-gone-screenwriter Emma Donoghue, introduces the audience to Joy and now-five-year-old Jack, a mother and son duo that take on the world from the inner-confines of their limited four-sided space. Besides the occasional “Sunday magic” from Old Nick, the two keep to themselves, living in a closeted world where TV is fantasy and the only window in use forces them to look up. However, when Joy and Jack find themselves in the midst of potential danger, the two leave their room behind and embrace what’s outside, what lies past the window pane above their heads.

Photo courtesy of Steven Zang.
Photo courtesy of Steven Zang.

There’s more to it than meets the eye. Room is sly in this sense. It embodies the questions that bug us all on a daily basis, such as “Why are we here?” or “What makes it all worthwhile?” The audience collectively feels a tug of innocence out of Jack, while being simultaneously dosed with the subtle reality that Joy has faced for over seven years (hint, hint). Despite their hardships, though, they embrace whatever challenge is thrown at them, going to bat for each other for more than just their survival.

Just ask Jenna Stuiso, a local independent-film fanatic. “Going into the movie theater, I didn’t really expect to be so emotionally invested in the characters and the story itself,” said Jenna. “Despite the upsetting parts, it remained a really fantastic movie. I would highly recommend.”

Additionally, the all-star cast was a huge payoff. Having Brie Larson play Joy was truly a decision worthy of an Oscar nomination (which she did receive). Additionally, Jacob Tremblay might just be the greatest child actor that Hollywood has had in a long time. His portrayal of Jack was both invigorating and quite the tearjerker. It was done so elegantly that believing him to be a child was easier than just accepting his real adolescence. And, if that wasn’t enough, famed actors William H. Macy and Joan Allen show up and give strong performances worth mentioning.

Overall, Room is worthy of all of its Oscar-buzz. It was surprising, inspiring and a perfect portrait of the highs and lows of family-hood. A love between a mother and her son is something to be celebrated, something to root for when outside obstacles arise. And this film does more than just play as food for thought. It even separates you from the outside world in a similar sense as Joy and Jack, confining you to feel your feelings and experience their hardships for the payoff of appreciation and love in its simplest form. In other words, it does more than toil with our emotions. It also leaves us some room to make it our own.

Room is playing locally in the heart of downtown Montclair! It’s currently showing at our very own Clairidge Cinemas, with more theaters to be announced shortly. For a list of more theaters in the tri-state area and show-times, visit fandango.com today.

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