Sunday, October 11, 2015


Like the novel on which its screenplay is based, Lenny Abrahamson's Room is a fictional high-wire act. Filtered through the viewpoint of an intelligent five-year-old boy, a story that might easily have been sensationalized or made saccharine—the imprisonment of a kidnapped, sexually enslaved young woman and the son she bore and is raising in captivity—becomes a tough but tender tribute to the creative power of maternal love.

The vivid metaphors that dot Jack's (Jacob Tremblay) voiceovers (“I zoomed down out of Heaven into Room,” he says, recounting the origin story his mother created for him) make a fairy tale of mother and son's captivity, while his habit of anthropomorphizing the objects in the storage shed where he's spent his entire life imbues even small things with great power. The camera adopts his point of view, making the little space feel cozy and warm though glamorous close-ups and by lingering on the routines, games, and stories Jack's mother, Joy (Brie Larson), invents to keep him happily occupied. Read the rest in Slant Magazine

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