Room DVD Review

DVD Review by Clayton Barnett

The Premise
ROOM tells the extraordinary story of Jack, a spirited 5-year-old who is looked after by his loving and devoted mother. Like any good mother, Ma dedicates herself to keeping Jack happy and safe, nurturing him with warmth and love and doing typical things like playing games and telling stories. Their life, however, is anything but typical--they are trapped--confined to a windowless, 10-by-10-foot space that Ma has euphemistically named Room. Ma has created a whole universe for Jack within Room, and she will stop at nothing to ensure that, even in this treacherous environment, Jack is able to live a complete and fulfilling life. But as Jack's curiosity about their situation grows, and Ma's resilience reaches its breaking point, they enact a risky plan to escape, ultimately bringing them face-to-face with what may turn out to be the scariest thing yet: the real world.
The Review
Brie Larson has one hand firmly on the Best Actress Oscar, after a moving performance as a mother trying to protect her son while being held captive.
In a breakout role, Larson has already collected a slew of awards including the best indicator for the Oscars, a Golden Globe. It was only a matter of time after her indie cred was solidified in foster-care drama Short Term 12, and at 26 we’ve only just begun to see her best work. But it’s amazing her co-star, Jacob Tremblay (Smurfs 2), wasn’t nominated too, as he is a revelation as Jack and will honestly break your heart.
Irish director Lenny Abrahamson, the man who brought us the delightfully deranged Frank, is on top form here too, framing Jack’s perspective of the ‘world’ with staggeringly beautiful details. The Irish-Canadian production helps it steer clear of sensational American movie-of-the-week, with Abrahamson handling the subject matter with class. Cinematographer Danny Cohen (The King’s Speech, The Danish Girl) will totally redefine how you look at a simple room with some creative camerawork. A lot of the credit obviously goes to screenwriter Emma Donoghue, adapting her own book, who shows us there is hope and imagination even in the darkest of situations.
And what an emotional wallop. You’d be a cold-hearted human if you weren’t holding back the tears in a certain scene with Jack and his Grandma (played by a terrific Joan Allen). Which doesn’t mean you’re not on the edge of your seat either, there are some truly tense sequences as the pair try to escape. It’s probably the film’s only slight misstep; the second half loses a bit of focus after the contained tension of the first.

The Verdict
With a breakout performance from Brie Larson (and her co-star too), Room is powerful stuff. Heartbreaking and uplifting, tense and moving, it’s thought provoking cinema at it’s finest.

The Trailer

The Info
DVD Releases: 1st June 2016
Rating: M – Contains offensive language
Duration: 117 minutes
Genre:  Drama
Starring: Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, Joan Allen, Sean Bridgers, William H. Macy
Director: Lenny Abrahamason (Frank, Adam & Paul)
The Extras
Brie Larson isolated herself for a month and followed a strict diet in order to get a sense of what Ma and Jack were going through.
One of the stories that Ma tells Jack is about the Count of Monte Cristo, whose main character was imprisoned in one cell for many years as well.
'Old Nick,' the name of the antagonist in this film, is another name for 'the Devil' in Christianity, dating back to the mid-17th century.
Jacob Tremblay, though an experienced actor, could not bring himself to yell at Brie Larson in the scene where he is angry about his birthday cake having no candles. Finally the director had the entire cast and crew start jumping up and down yelling and screaming until he was able to do it himself.
Brie Larson claimed that she avoided washing her face while filming in the Room, to really make clear on-camera that she was not wearing makeup.
In several interviews, the author of the book on which the movie is based has said the story is not based on any specific real-life case.
In Joy's bedroom at her mother's house, a show poster for the band Phantom Planet is out of focus in the background. Brie Larson is in a relationship with Phantom Planet lead singer Alex Greenwald