Completely gripping and utterly absorbing, this is one of those movies you'll start watching- perhaps not expecting too much- and find yourself unable to tear yourself away. Two astonishing performances from Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay, (who as a parent I can confirm gives an incredibly naturalistic and real portrayal of young Jack). Absolutely nothing in this felt fake, forced, sugar coated, half hearted, glamorised, hollywood-ised, or contrived. It's fantastically authentic, hugely moving (I teared-up repeatedly) and didn't want it to end.
It also defied my expectations in several ways; I'd imagined some 'Malick-esque' pastiche of sugary sequences of Brie taking her son to the beach or on fairground rides; but its far more dramatic (and traumatic) than that. Curiously, I was also convinced that 'Jack' was a girl throughout the first act (I imagined Ma was protecting her from abuse by pretending 'she' was a boy). Cinematography was also excellent and very clever especially how they filmed 'room'. It seems almost spacious during the first act, however when they return to it later it seems impossibly tiny.
The film is absolutely laser-focused on the relationship between mother and child, and how it develops after their 'situation' changes. This means the film also allows other characters and subplots to take place off-screen (or be ignored completely), which is necessary. I'd have loved to see a certain character get their comeuppance, but that's not the story being told. The best way to describe Room is as the closing two acts of a thriller (finale and epilogue) made into a full length film. It explores not just the survival, but the aftermath. What happens after the event? How do people rebuild their lives and adapt? Do we always do the right thing for our children? Can we live with our decisions?
Great direction by Lenny Abrahamson and a perfect screenplay by the book author Emma Donoghue. This is a project of which everyone involved should be immensely proud. I can't think of any flaws at all. Re-watchability perhaps? No, I'd love to re-watch this. It's one of those rare, perfect movie experiences.
Not the kind of film that makes big demands of an AV system, but I saw nothing at all to complain about with the presentation at all. The extras disappoint with their brevity: an audio commentary and a series of brief featurettes- the best of which is '11x11'.