Movie Review: Room

I heard people sobbing for joy halfway through the movie Room.

room_movieThe Wife and I saw the movie Room more than a week ago at the Spectrum Theatre in Albany. Yet I have had a difficult time writing about it.

One reason is that the less one knows, going in, the better the story. What I will say is that the film is based on the 2010 novel by Irish-Canadian author Emma Donoghue, though it does not adhere entirely to the source material.

I had thought, incorrectly, the story was derived from the Cleveland captivity story that came to light in 2013. I believed that in particular because Room, the movie, takes place in Akron, and I recognized those Ohio license plates.

While I’ve seen only three of the five nominees for Best Actress, I’m willing to cede the Oscar to Brie Larson, who was excellent as Joy, kidnapped for seven years. Just as good, though, is young Jacob Tremblay as Jack. The movie falls apart if one doesn’t believe that the boy was born in captivity, living in Room that his mother tries to make as “normal” as possible.

Room has been nominated as Best Picture, and rightly so. It has understandably reviewed extremely well.

I’m glad I saw the movie in the theater. While the subject matter was tough, it never felt exploitative. I thought the way the film compared the impact of the captivity on the captives, versus how it affected Joy’s parents (Joan Allen, William H. Macy). The black woman cop, played by Amanda Brugel, was great.

I came out of the film feeling exhilarated that someone could put together two disparate sides of a coin and make it work so well. I heard people sobbing for joy halfway through the movie. The Wife, conversely, thought it was too intense for her taste, though she thought it was very well made.

My feeling is to see Room, preferably in one sitting, optimally on the big screen, for I believe watching it in pieces will alter its impact negatively.

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