Combustible Celluloid
 
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With: Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, Joan Allen, Sean Bridgers, Tom McCamus, William H. Macy
Written by: Emma Donoghue, based on her novel
Directed by: Lenny Abrahamson
MPAA Rating: R for language
Running Time: 118
Date: 11/25/2015
IMDB

Room (2015)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Gloom and 'Room'

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

I didn't really want to see Room and I can't say I'm entirely glad I did, but I will admit that if you're among those that do want to see it, it does its job effectively. (It's a kind of feel-good downer, like Precious.) Written by Emma Donoghue, who adapted her own novel, Room tells the story of a woman (Brie Larson) who has been taken prisoner and kept in a room, a shed, in a backyard. She has been raped and has a son, Jack (Jacob Tremblay, in a fine juvenile performance), who turns five as the story begins. His "Ma" has done her best to raise him not knowing that he is a prisoner, teaching him all about "room" and all the remarkable things in it. After a night in which their captor turns off the heat, "Ma" pretends that Jack is sick, and then dies, so that he can escape. From there, Jack must learn how to live in the much bigger world. Joan Allen and William H. Macy play the boy's grandparents; Macy's character can't stand that the boy is a child of rape and eventually leaves the picture, never to return. Director Lenny Abrahamsson keeps things on an even keel, staying close, but not exclusively, to Jack's point of view as he learns things. The movie is still heavy in spots, but moves along cleanly. Besides Tremblay, Brie Larsen is the real core to the movie. She has already proven herself a wonderfully intuitive actress in better movies (especially Short Term 12), but she will likely receive her first Oscar nomination for this.

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