Room ★★★★

Absolutely exhausting on an emotional level. The mid-film climax had me curled into a ball flinging out tears at the screen. The first hour really puts you through the grinder, but I kind of think the second hour proves to be more rewarding. The examination of post-catastrophe confusion is enthralling, and the final payoff is layered and complex. All of this stuff wouldn't be nearly as compelling if you didn't have Larson and Tremblay though, and that's where I find most of my praise being directed to. Tremblay is a revelation here, going toe-to-toe with Larson in every scene they share. His angry confusion at the things he can't quite comprehend is beautifully realized. As for Larson...after seeing SHORT TERM 12, I immediately knew she was going to do great things, and here we have it. She gives a powerful performance as a woman that isn't always the most pleasant or smart, but always looks out for her child. Devotion is a maddening thing. This isn't a film I could see myself returning to, but I'm not sure if I've seen a stronger duo of performances this year.