Foggy’s review published on Letterboxd:
Following on from the heartwarming abortion comedy of the year is the most uplifting abduction drama of the year.
Room at the moment stands as my second best film of the year, my favourite being Carol from a couple weeks back. When that one closed, you left feeling satisfied but like you could watch that film for an eternity, when this finished I felt like the time flew, I couldn't believe it was time for the credits to roll, I wanted more, more, damnit!
It sounds slightly damning (and it's nearly the only slight issue with the film) but it's a really strong compliment to a film that can be as dark as this. I wanted to spend more time with these characters, their situation that they found themselves fleeing.
The way the film plays out is by showing the world through the eyes of it's protagonist, a young boy named Jack, who's spent his entire life in a kitted out shed with his mother who we quickly learn has been abducted for several years. The film firstly understands properly how a kid talks and communicates and develops, even in the circumstances set in the film. The entire subject matter is treated with seriousness.
But of course, that is only half the story, as a lot of the film is also experiences things for the very first time. The film captures seeing the world, the unexplainable vastness to it, the inconceivable scale of it. To the tiny details we've always take for granted being seen like alien objects, it's all very slight, subtle work. The film effortlessly jumps between this whimsical, lighthearted and life-affirming element to the very real grown up exterior drama happening around the kid without putting a foot wrong. The entire film plays the audiences like a fiddle, without fooling them or tricking them, just great storytelling and pacing.
This is where Brie Larson's hard-work comes into play, as she has to carry the film, while not being the focus of the film. Jacob Tremblay plays the young boy who's genuinely convincing as a young kid, it sounds like something that would occur easily but a kid on camera is a very unlike to act like himself, so the atmosphere on set must have been very relaxed and open to improv. But Brie has real chemistry with the kid as a mother, he desperation, along with her depression, would lead her to become unlikable of the film and herself were unable to create a real sense of a passage of time from her being captured, and an understanding of her inner turmoil.
When it ended, I honestly felt like they could happily tell me the story of these two growing older, through his teen years and a grown adult, and how this situation affected his life, and if Larsen's Joy was ever able to find her place back in the world. The film ends with a haunting reminder that the room was always going to be haunting them, but ultimately, in the end, the room isn't a defining part of there lives, it's just the course they have been taken upon and it's up to them to make the best that they can out of it.