Room ★★★½

Having read Emma Donoghue's source novel, I was apprehensive about the way things would turn out on the big screen, considering the text is entirely narrated by young Jack, almost to an infuriating extent, and painstakingly full of his childspeak and limited intellectual perspective. Director Lenny Abrahamson's film can't help but open itself to a more omniscient POV, and in doing so loses a lot of the focus and clarity of the story. There is virtually no trace left of the notion that life for young Jack was better trapped inside his kidnapper's room, as the film settles instead for a second half based entirely around the highlights of an uncomfortable readjustment period, the likes of which can routinely be found on the Lifetime Network. All this is aside from the fact that actually seeing five-year-old Jack (played by ten-year-old Jacob Tremblay) just reinforces the fact that he does not act his age, which becomes a huge distraction from the drama Donoghue is trying to create. Brie Larson gives a fantastic performance, and Room's first half does a great job of establishing things, but it's really just prologue for the heartbreaking narrative that begins after they get their freedom, and to do things justice, and not feel rushed, the film really needs a good two hours on the back end. An admirable attempt and definitely worth seeing, but far from the masterpiece others are proclaiming, and certainly not Oscar worthy.