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Room: one of the most powerful films I’ve seen

Film & TV

If you judge the impact of a film by how many tissues are used during a screening, then Room would be this year’s hands-down winner.

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It is a confronting film about a five-year-old boy, Jack (amazingly portrayed by Jacob Tremblay), and his Ma (Brie Larson, who is also astonishingly good).

Jack has grown up in a confined space, aptly called Room, which is his entire world. His Ma is a wonderfully inventive mother who has taught him to read and make the most of the space they have.

Director Lenny Abrahamson works the camera around the tiny space that is Jack’s world and follows him closely as the outside world becomes more and more real. Without giving too much away, Room is a thriller and a drama, sometimes funny, often heartbreaking and incredibly moving.

The screenplay by Irish writer Emma Donoghue, based on her own best-selling novel with the same name, is well balanced between the child’s perspective and the adult version of events. The scenes with mother and son sparkle and shine as they ring true to anyone who has ever cared for a child. The love, the frustration, the fear, even hate, and the endless tenderness between them all play out before our eyes and we cannot look away.

The supporting cast members are excellent, including Joan Allen and William H Macy as the grandparents, and details such as the smart thinking of a female police officer are riveting.

Room has already won multiple awards, including a best actress Golden Globe for Larson, and it is likely to score more – perhaps even Oscars, as it is nominated to win best film, best female lead, best director and best adapted screenplay.

I dare you to see this film and not be affected by it. It will stay with me as one of the saddest but also one of the most hopeful and powerful films I have ever seen.

 

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