Room ★★★½

Emotionally potent and empathetically made, Room works best when sitting within Jack's (Jacob Tremblay) point-of-view, parsing the familiar from the strange and the frightening. Abrahamson never quite manages to strike Joy's (Brie Larson) emotional perspective in the same way, at her most vulnerable we're too shut out. Given this, the first half, with its intense sense of history and storytelling within "Room" is much stronger, culminating in the thrilling escape and recovery (my heart was in my mouth).
With such a subject matter and the particular filmmaking style (aimed at maximum response from mainstream audience) I can't quite shake the feeling that this is potentially a little exploitative but I'm sold by the fact that it ends not with some grand, condescending statement, but just a little nudge toward life.

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