This week’s film choice was Room from director Lenny Abrahamson, based on the book by Emma Donoghue, who also wrote the screenplay.
The film centres on a young woman called Ma (Brie Larson), and her son Jack (Jacob Tremblay) who we quickly learn are being held captive by the mysterious Old Nick (Sean Bridgers) in the Room of the film title,which has a bed, wardrobe, a kitchen sink and a bath but not much else.
We quickly learn that not only is Ma being held captive by Nick, he is also abusing her, in scenes that happen off camera, the result of these consistent attacks is that Jack is his son, from one of these earlier attacks.
We learn that Ma is really called Joy, and was abducted by Nick, who tricked her 7 years ago into helping her find an imaginary lost dog.
Ma is desperate to get them out into the real world as not getting enough vitamins and sunlight. Jack also has no understanding or knowledge of the real world! He clearly is behind in his health and education for a normal 5-year-old
The first half shows us how the 2 cope and need each other to stop from going insane, you have to wonder how Ma coped for the 2 years before Jack was born!
We also follow their desperate attempts to escape, and hopefully not a big spoiler for you, they do manage to get help and escape and the second half follows how the 2 rejoin the outside world.
Since being help captive, Ma’s parent, Nancy (Joan Allen) and Robert (William H. Macy) have divorced, with Robert living a lot further away now, and Joan has moved on with a new partner, Leo (Tom McCamus)
The escape for Ma and Jack is certainly not the joy portrayed in the similar themed Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt with them having to deal with intrusions from the press, who have a real interest in the story of them being help captive in a single room for 7 years.
They also need to adapt to the effects of not having sunlight in their lives and fitting in with the rest of the outside world.
The film may sound like its all doom and gloom, yet it really is an intense watch, the first half in particular will have you routing for Ma and Jack to escape and then when they do, your heart will break as they struggle to fit back into society.
The film was nominated for 4 Oscars, including Best Film; Best Screenplay; Best Director and Best Actress.
Of those 4, only Brie won for Best Actress and is a deserving winner, especially as her performance was totally unexpected from the comedy roles we know her from, namely Scott Pilgrim vs The World and 21 Jump Street.
Hollywood has certainly now taken notice and she will now be seen in blockbusters, Kong: Skull Island and she will also play Captain Marvel, in the film of the same name.
The film will also see Brie play the first female lead in a comic book film from Marvel Studios!
Young Jacob, who we had only ever seen as Blue, the human child from Smurfs 2, would have been just as worthy of a best male or even supporting male actor, as his performance for someone so young is outstanding. He certainly will be one to watch in the future.
If you are looking for a great character drama, you could do a lot worse than rent this Room.
Have you seen Room? Did you think Brie was worthy of her Oscar? Do you think it should have won more Oscars? We would love to hear from you here at Barking Mad About Films