'Room' Movie Review - Rolling Stone
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Brie Larson shines in this harrowing, moving adaptation of Emma Donoghue’s bestseller

Brie Larson and Jacob TremblayBrie Larson and Jacob Tremblay

Jacob Tremblay and Brie Larson in 'Room.'

George Kraychyk

Looking for something unique and unforgettable? Room is it. Based on a 2010 novel by Emma Donoghue, who wrote the screenplay, Room puts us up close and personal with Joy (Brie Larson) and her five-year-old son, Jack (Jacob Tremblay). They play games, cook meals and bond with genuine affection. It sounds like a sweet dose of Disney.

No way. Joy and Jack are prisoners, held captive in a soundproof garden shed by Old Nick (Sean Bridgers), a kidnapper who rapes Joy nightly, but gives her a tiny separate room to raise the son he impregnated her with. Jack hears the muffled sex sounds at night, but accepts the aberrant as normal.

And you believe it. Director Lenny Abrahamson (Frank) creates almost unbearable tension. There is a release (I won’t say how) and a trip to the outside to see Joy’s parents (William H. Macy and Joan Allen).

But Room deserves to be seen unspoiled. All you need to know is that the performances of Larson and Tremblay will blow you away. Tremblay is a child actor incapable of a false move. And Larson, so good in Short Term 12, is magnificent, finding a way into Joy’s bruised psyche that tears at your heart. OK, Room is a small movie, but its impact is enormous.

In This Article: Toronto Film Festival


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