Movie Review: “Room”


I’ve wanted to see this movie for a little while. Then Brie Larson won the Oscar for Best Actress for her role, and my interest grew. I found a showing near me, got all hyped, and then my plans changed. Totally lame. That’s when I received a text message from my sister:

“Have you seen Room?”

If she was going out of her way to talk to me about a film she had seen, I knew there must be something to it. After the first message, she went on to praise “Room,” and Jacob Tremblay’s performance, in particular. She was so impressed, she thought he deserved to get nominated for an Academy Award.

Now that I’ve obviously also seen “Room,” I completely agree. That kid’s performance is incredible. His role was absolutely vital to the film, and he delivered in every single way.

Jacob Tremblay as Jack in "Room" (Photo by George Kraychyk)
Jacob Tremblay as Jack in “Room” (Photo by George Kraychyk)

Before I continue with my thoughts, let’s go over the plot (written by A24):

ROOM tells the extraordinary story of Jack (Jacob Tremblay), a spirited 5-year-old who is looked after by his loving and devoted mother (Brie Larson). 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 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.

Here’s the highest compliment I can give this film: it made me feel. Not only did it make me feel, it was a step away from making me cry hysterically on several occasions. My brother was in the room, so I held back most of the tears. Yeah, you read that right: most of them.

“Room” is a beautifully intense journey that sucks you in from beginning to end. From a technical standpoint, Nerdo’s film analyst (and award-winning filmmaker) Jovanni Ibarra has the highest compliment possible: it made him forget he was watching a movie. That’s not easy to do. When you get a look behind the curtain, it gets really hard to pretend the curtain isn’t there anymore. This film put the genie back in the bottle.

I want to be clear, by the way: I wasn’t joking before. I have never had a film stir up as much emotion in me as this one did. I mean, I won’t pretend I’ve never cried during a movie, or anything, but “Room” turned me into an emotional wreck. It was hard to shake off. Afterwards, I had to watch some comedy shows on Netflix. It took several episodes of “The Office” and “New Girl” to make me feel better.

What else can I say? “Room” is filmmaking at its absolute finest. If you get a chance to watch it, bring tissues, and check your insecurities at the door. Trust me, it’ll be easier if you can just let the tears flow.


Barry Ford