A room with no view
Director: Lenny Abrahamson (Frank) Starring: Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, Joan Allen, William H. Macy Verdict: Locked away together, looking for the key in each other.
A BASIC synopsis of Room makes it sound like a horror movie.
A young woman is abducted at 17 and held captive inside a small suburban backyard shed for seven years.
As the story begins, she has a young son who is celebrating his fifth birthday. The boy’s father is the kidnapper, a strange man who makes irregular visits to bring supplies, and sometimes stay the night.
However, in spite of the terrible situation it starkly depicts, Room is anything but an ordeal as a cinema experience.
The suspense and dread intrinsic to the tale is balanced by a warmth, resilience and innocence that will truly astonish most viewers.
So too will Room’s ability to keep building moments of inspirational uplift in the most downcast of places.
Based on the novel by Emma Donoghue – who also wrote the screenplay – Room charts the relationship of a woman known only as Ma (played by Brie Larson) and her son Jack (Jacob Tremblay).
Imprisoned in a space of only 10 sq m, Ma has somehow found a way to make it a complete world for her little boy.
Though Jacob has never felt fresh air or interacted with other human beings, Ma nurtures an imagination and intelligence in her son with the meagre resources at hand.
To keep herself going, Ma occupies her mind with escape schemes that may one day secure a return to normal life. However, should the pair ever make a break for it, success or failure will ultimately rest on the small shoulders of Jacob. The child may not be up to the challenge. In his still-forming mind, the outside world might as well be outer space.
If you have had the good fortune to miss the spoiler-laden trailer, you are perfectly primed for one of the most compelling movies of the summer.
Larson’s economical, yet electrifying performance is all but guaranteed to win her the next Best Actress Oscar. Her intimate chemistry with young Tremblay (also unbelievably strong, in totally different ways) is a force that cannot be denied throughout.
Now showing at Village Cinemas (Hobart only) and opens at the State Cinema on Thursday