301 Moved Permanently

301 Moved Permanently


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Room for the Real

Armed with a box of Kleenex, I took my seat in a packed matinee screening of Lenny Abrahamson’s adaption of Emma Donoghue’s best-selling novel Room (HarperCollins). I’d read the book years ago, which portrays the inarguably depressing captive life of Ma and Jack as told through Jack’s 5-year-old, often-tedious perspective—detracting from the book’s compelling narrative. Abrahamson’s take on the novel is still loosely told through the blissfully ignorant eyes of Jack, played by a burgeoning Jacob Tremblay, with Brie Larson cementing herself as Ma and the film’s answer to Jack’s ignorance. Unlike its paperback counterpart, though, the film’s adaptation of Jack’s unique narration—with the added luxury of impeccable cinematography—elevates Room’s portrayal of pain and real-life relationships. A mother and child who live in the confines of one room may not be a typical relationship, but the devoted performances of Larson and Tremblay convince you otherwise. The story is moving, but at its core Room is really about unconventional relationships and the hardships therein. It may not be a ground-breaking premise, but with its meticulous execution you forget about melodrama, and focus instead on what you just experienced: really good cinema.

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