Ever since 'Scott Pilgrim vs. The World' I've always had my eye on Brie Larson. Then I saw 'Short Term 12' and fell in love with her portrayal of Grace in that film. She is defiantly one of the strongest actresses to come out of recent years and lights up the screen with no matter what she does. My local cinema happened to get an advance screening of Lenny Abrahamson's adaptation of Emma Donoghue's novel 'Room.' And this is so far the best movie I've seen in 2016.
Brie Larson plays Joy 'Ma' Newson who lives in a solitary room with her 5 year old son Jack. (Played by an astonishing Jacob Tremblay) Jack has never left this room and knows nothing of the outside world, only what he's experienced in this room. I won't go any further into the plot as I never read the book or did extensive research on this film and I loved the way the plot played out, it was a defining feature of why I loved this movie. Furthermore, Brie Larson is up for an Academy Award for Best Actress and rightfully so. She knocked me out watching this film. The utter realism she portrayed was so fierce and raw it felt like a documentary. Larson doesn't need to portray an eccentric or wacky character to flaunt her acting skills, she just needs to portray emotion and pathos for her character and give them something for the audience to relate to. And while being trapped in a single room for 7 years isn't all that relatable I'd assume. It's what follows the event and connecting with her son that will appeal to the audience.
Jacob Tremblay deserved a nomination for his performance. At 5 years old, I do not think I've ever seen a child actor evoke so much emotion that felt so real. He is an absolute revelation and it's probably because he is 5 he will not get nominated but I cannot stress enough how brilliant he was. It boils down to the realism. That's how the movie felt the whole duration. Tremblay did this so perfectly I could not see a fault in his performance. Everything from the monologues to his outbursts all felt real and organic to the story. I am very excited to see where he goes in life.
Everything else about this movie shines. From it's screenplay adapted by Emma Donoghue herself, all the way to Abrahamson's direction. It all works coherently like cogs in a giant clock. The handheld camera work and extreme close up's worked very well in the room to evoke the claustrophobia and dwindling mental state. Then the static shots and wider angles after the ordeal bring forth the space that existed between the family members. Especially Joy's father (played by William H. Macy.) Let alone the performances, the whole movie never falters and knows exactly how to make the audience feel what they're trying to get across.
This is up for Best Picture at the Oscars also and I would love to see Lenny Abrahamson pull it off because this truly an amazing piece of film that everyone needs to see. It's movies like this that make me truly happy to be a lover of film. Amazing.
. Brie Larson
. Jacob Tremblay
. The supporting cast
. Abrahamson's direction
. Donoghue's script
. It's 2 hours long and it feels 2 hours long at times.