Back to 2015, one of my favorite movies was Room. Even in February 2016 when the 88th Oscar came, most people didn’t know this movie. I had tried google the name of the movie and I nearly find nothing. I can’t understand why people can ignore this movie. I love every movie about motherhood and Room is one of them.
I found and read the book which Room adapted from right after watching this movie and I was truly surprised. It’s hard to think of a movie adaptation of a book that feels truer and more loyal to its source than Room. Every detail, from the environment to the interpretation of actors is perfectly matched with Emma Donoghue’s Orange Prize-winning 2010 novel. Lenny Abrahamson has created 2 contrast world exist together between Ma and Jack. To Jack, the room is the entire world and everything outside is tangible as heaven. But to Ma, the room is her prison, a cell in which she’s been kept for seven years since she was kidnapped at 19 by a man who has raped her countless times and fathered Jack. But she keeps all these hard realities of life from her son. Abrahamson’s direction is astonishing, he constantly finds new ways to see the room, keeping the viewer trapped in there but surprising us all the time. It’s so hard to imagine that such a depressing scenario could be made so beautiful, but Abrahamson finds poetry in the small details of Room, captured through gray filters to emphasize the lack of light.
Brie Larson (Ma) has a great performance in this movie. She shows the power of a real mom who would do everything to protect her son. She voluntarily stays to give Jack a chance to get out of the “Room”. The flow of her emotions, the warm and protective mother, the smart improvisation in any Jack’s questions, the conflict in herself after getting out, all mix-up and create the perfect Ma in Room. But Ma can’t shine without the connection with Jack. Nine-year-old Tremblay gives one of the best child performances ever put on screen, utterly convincing as his world is cracked open. This active, innocent child shows the great potential. In the movie, when planning the escape plan, when Jack stubbornly resists Ma to accept new information and the real world which is much bigger than the room, the way he talks and act are brilliant.
Stephen Rennicks’s music choice for Room is quite subtle. Most “Room”’s soundtracks are minimal music, base mostly on piano and violin. They are soft, low-pitched, perfectly fit with the small environment 11-foot by 11-foot space with a lone skylight. It shows enough loneliness, sadness, but it also shows the strength in Ma and the deep-rooted mother –son connections.
“Room” is a heartbreaking tale of the power of motherly love and of a nurtured child’s ability to find light in the dark woods of the adult world (The Guardian, 2016). It’s a mark of how well Abrahamson has told his story that by the end, which takes you to places once unimaginable, you’ll likely be willing to go through it all again.
“Room” is the kind of film made for viewing in cinema (like Wes Anderson’s movies), so in the future, when I got my own apartment and screening room, this movie will be on my list to be seen again in that room.