Editor’s note: This is a movie review. Movie reviews might have spoilers, because they are movie REVIEWS.
Every year, Soundtrack of the Week does an Academy Award show with TV.com writer Ben Knight. To get you juiced up for the show, Ty reviews each Best Picture nominee to help you decide which movies to not waste your time on and which movies to torrent off the internet instead of paying $40 at the movie theaters. Today’s film review:
Synopsis: A woman, who has been kidnapped and held captive for seven years, and her 5-year-old son (do the math) try to adapt to life and freedom after escaping. The boy, who only knows life within a tiny room and nothing else, experiences the real world for the first time. This scenario is perfect for a comedy, but alas, it’s a heartfelt drama.
Review: A good chunk of the movie takes place in the one room, which you would think would get boring and weird…and that’s the point. Focusing on a tight, one-room setting gives the audience the claustrophobic, stir-crazy sensation felt by our protagonists.
The script does a great job of subtly explaining the situation without directly telling you, an indicator of good writing. Puzzle pieces are given to you to put together, rather than receiving the completed picture. Critics fucking love this because it makes them feel intellectual or some shit, but in reality, it just makes them not dumb.
Another film device critics love is character transformation, which is what this film is based upon. We witness Brie Larson’s character change from being a survivor while being held captive to emotionally weak and unstable while free. This seems counterintuitive, but the story makes sense of it all. Conversely, we see the child handle freedom, something he never knew, better than his mother.
“Room” is full of suspense, emotion and drama. Overall, it’s a really good film that’s palatable to all tastes.
A few points of criticism before you think I’m not going to be pessimistic for the first time ever. First, this movie would have been far more interesting if it focused on the child’s assimilation into a whole new universe. There are several moments that highlight this fact, but I feel the real story lies within that conflict which was underutilized in the script.
My applause for this script is only relevant for the first part of the movie, i.e. the captive scenes. As soon as freedom is obtained by the characters, focus is lost on the screenwriter. To be honest, if the director were to have casted anyone other than topnotch talent, the movie would never be nominated. In other words, the acting carried this movie to the Oscars.
Possible awards: Best Picture, Best Actress