I had picked Brie Larson as the favorite to win the best actress this year and she might juts pull it off though this movie has an anticlimactic ending that doesn't explore the full extent of the horrible events depicted. Room is based off a book by the same name written by Emma Donoghue. The novel won all sorts of awards and shortlisted for many others. I have not had the privilege to read it but I've heard good things. Donoghue also adapted the screenplay.
The significance of this movie cannot be denied as I clearly remember hearing the horrifying tale of the three women in Cleveland and the other awful experiences of young woman at the hands of derange men. This movie takes place in Ohio too.
Overall this movie is very sad and moving, a real downer. Jack played by Jacob Tremblay steals the show. I'm surprised he didn't get nominated for a Golden Globe. His young performance was only outdone by the young man of Beasts of No Nation, Abraham Attah. This doesn't take away from Tremblay's performance. He dominates the film and his voiceover brings us into the strange world of room. The back and forth between him and Larson's Joy, or Ma, was real and grew steadily nerve-wrecking as they plan their escape.
The captor, Old Nick, is played by Sean Bridgers. The increasing problems are taking out on Jack and Ma, like power cuts and brutal rapes. Bridgers brings a menace to the evil man. I have enjoyed his performance in Rectify and wonder what it must be like for an actor to be cast in such vicious roles.
Joan Allen and William H. Macy both deliver powerful performances as the troubled parents of Joy. Joan Allen's character has remarried and struggles to bond with her daughter and her grandson. Macy's character has a harder time figuring out how to deal with the situation.
Lenny Abrahamson who directed the odd comedy Frank does a great job capturing the claustrophobia of the confines. Also Jack's first days of freedom are displayed with gripping shots that show the intensity and confusion of his sudden displacement.
The second half is not as intense and though it would have been hard and thoroughly depressing to watch, I would've liked to have seen more play out, like a court case. The interview at the end is pretty intense though. I think Larson will get the nomination but I've yet to see her competition in Jennifer Lawrence in Joy and Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara in Carol. I don't think Brie will win after seeing her performance though. Nonetheless this was a great display from a new, burgeoning young actor that has some great movies ahead!