14 February 2016

Room

Ma and Jack in "Room"
"Room" directed by Lenny Abrahamson is a gripping film. The first third of it is set solely inside a garden shed where Joy lives with her five year old son Jack. In fact, Jack was born in this shed and has never seen the outside world. They are sustained by a night-time visitor called "Old Nick". Only he knows the keycode to get in and out of the shed.

Jack is quite contented within his little world. He has his mother "Ma", a television set and food to eat. He has known nothing else and is dumbfounded when Ma tries to explain that there is a world beyond their room.

They escape Old Nick and Jack is thrown into the outer world, a world of which he had no true knowledge. He meets his grandparents and sees distant horizons, cars and wide spaces. It is mind-blowing but gradually he comes through it and learns to live in the real world.

Brie Larson plays Joy Newsome (Ma) and Jacob Tremblay plays Jack. For a child actor he is very convincing in his role though he never looks like a five year old. In fact in real life he was seven when the film was crafted, This oddity was at first a slightly unwelcome distraction but I managed to shelve the disbelief as I found myself drawn into what was in my opinion a superb and well-observed film. 

Humanity and tenderness shine through as the director - Abrahamson - and writer - Emma Donoghue - avoid any temptation to indulge in salacious sensationalism. This is a film that confirms what it means to be a human being and in the final analysis the story is uplifting, even joyful as little Jack and his Ma are born again.
Emma Donoghue, the author of "Room"

26 comments:

  1. I keep meaning to read the book. I started it once but was uneasy with the subject matter so I put it aside.

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    1. I haven't read the book but I felt that the author/screenwriter dealt sensitively with the subject matter. You never turn your head away or jump because of a horrid moment. It's very watchable and ultimately life-affirming.

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  2. Brie Larson has won a few awards for her role and is nominated for a few others, too. She's already received the Golden Globe Award, the Critic's Choice Award, and the SAG Award, and has been nominated for the BAFTA Award, Independent Spirit Award, Canadian Screen Award and Academy Award for Best Actress.

    I think she'll be a force to be reckoned with at this year's Academy Awards.

    That'll upset Jada Pinkett-Smith and Will Smith's apple-carts!!

    I'll get to see the movie one of these days. I very, very rarely go to the cinema, but I do watch movies at home...I've always loved movies ever since I was a child.

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    1. And thanks for another excellent review, Yorkie. :)

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    2. You are welcome my sweet little Tamborine petal. It will be interesting to see if Brie Larson breaks through the Oscars' secret restrictions to get what she deserves for this performance. As you say she has won several awards... but NOT The Laughing Horse Blogger of the Year!

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    3. Well....after all...it's only we elite, unique, special ones that ever receive The Laughing Horse Blogger of the Year Award, Yorkie. We're a rare breed!!

      There are not many special petals around, you know! I'm flattered you call me "Petal", but perhaps "Cactus" might be more applicable!! lol

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    4. But cacti are prickly Lee and you are gentle and sweet like Bambi in the Disney film.

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    5. Oh, my dear!

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  3. Well, YP, until she's won THE award of the year she can't say she's really "arrived" can she !
    An excellent review - as always. Haven't read the book and not sure I'd get engrossed, given the subject. I'll look to see if it's available on Amazon.

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    1. May I humbly suggest that you yourself launch a blog CG? Then you could be in line for a Laughing Horse award to put on your mantelpiece. I am sure that you have many readable and interesting blogposts in you. They are bubbling like dumplings in a pressure cooker.

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  4. She is such a natural looking woman - so rare amongst film 'stars' these days. I do remember reading about the 'real' incident behind the story.

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    1. You are right Mrs Weaver, she is a natural even ordinary looking young woman and not a rare beauty like Kate Winslett, Jennifer Aniston or indeed yourself.

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  5. An intriguing review. Having neither read the book or seen the film, I am curious to find out why Ma and Jack spend five years in a shed.

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  6. I'm very interested in this movie. The book was inspired by cases like the one in Austria where the woman was held captive for years, wasn't it? Anyway, I'm sure I will see it when I have an opportunity. Thanks for the review!

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    1. I didn't know what to expect when trotting along to watch "Room"... but yes it gets you thinking about Josef Fritzl - The Austrian Monster.

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  7. It sounds like both the book and film are very intriguing. Your blog is the first place I've heard/read about this.
    In a way, the story reminds me of "Blast from the Past", a "romantic comedy" (so, probably nothing like "Room") starring Christopher Walken.
    In that movie, a man is born and raised by his parents in an underground shelter his Dad - a scientist - built at the time when many thought a nuclear war was imminent. All he knows about the outside world is what he learns from his parents, out of books and from recorded TV-programs. So his knowledge stops at the time of his family's retreat to the shelter in the 1960s.
    When he turns 35, the timed lock opens. For the first time in his life, he sees the sky, and open spaces, and other people.
    Some bits in the movie are really silly, but I liked the overall idea of someone not getting gradually accustomed to life as we know it, but being thrown into it all at once, and how they cope with it.

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    1. Thanks for that Meike. There's an obvious similarity between the central themes of the two films. Though there are smiles when watching "Room", I can't recall silly moments apart from natural silly moments that tend to surround small children.

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  8. A great review ta muchly

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    1. I couldn't remember if you had already reviewed this film JG.

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  9. I have heard of that film and believe it is up for awards.

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    1. Yes. It already has some awards as Lee mentioned above. Well-deserved in my humble opinion.

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  10. And Brie Larson a short time ago received the BAFTA Award for her role in this movie.

    Leo also received the BAFTA for "The Revenant".

    You're probably already aware of this...you seem to be a fan of movies as I am. :)

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    1. The BAFTA judges read this blog Lee.

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    2. Yes, I know, Yorkie...they look to you and me for our intelligent, knowledgeable advice.

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  11. I read the book & it was mesmerizing. I didn't know they'd made a movie of it - I'll have to check it out!

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Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.