It’s finally Oscar’s day! You’re probably getting settled in, preparing snacks or maybe even watching a couple of nominated movies to be ready for the awards. As usual, being a big procrastinator, I didn’t get around to watching all of the nominees for Best Picture, but I have watched a few of them and I thought it would be a good idea to talk about “Room”, which is probably my favorite nominated movie this year. This isn’t a comprehensive review as I watched this in the movie theatre and was too busy trying to see through my tears to make any notes, but more of a few of the thoughts I had while watching it.
First of all, I think it’s important that I mention how in awe I was of Jacob Tremblay’s performance. In the beginning of the movie and based on a few interviews I’d seen of him, I thought he was just going to be this cute little kid and that Brie Larson would mostly carry the movie on her own. I was happy to see how he was able to really bring emotion and depth to the character, despite being so young and playing a character that’s a few years younger than him. Larson was also great all along, especially when you notice how her expression changes when she’s talking to Jack and when she’s alone with her own thoughts. Reading about the way she prepared for the character, I can only imagine how hard it must have been to immerse herself in such an impossible situation, all while having only a young child to rely on camera.
I was also really impressed with the way this movie was shot. The Room was very small, and as a film student, I have some idea about how hard it is to shoot in tiny spaces. It brings complications to the photography, the set design, the sound and even the cast and crew get tired way more quickly than in larger or outside sets. The director of photography decided to use the confined space in his favor in order to bring the characters’ emotions closer to the audience, and in contrast to the wider shots that actually showed how small the Room was, this was a technical and aesthetical choice that worked perfectly with the narrative. You can read more about the actual shooting of the movie in this article.
It’s been a while since a movie had me in the edge of my seat, and there were some scenes in this that had that drop-the-popcorn-and-pay-attention effect on me. I looked at my friends around me and we all had the same expressions of anxiety on our faces, and I think that when a movie can do that by having the audience care about its characters and the situation that is presented instead of relying on cheap sentimentalism, then you have a successful movie. I was especially amazed by how a movie that deals with such terrible events (being abducted, being locked away, being repeatedly abused, having to deal with the outside world after being away for so long, and the list goes on) was able to not be too harrowing and dark, but instead bring themes of love and hope. Much of this is due to the fact that we experience the movie through Jack’s eyes, who, in all his innocence, sees much more in Room than meets the eye.
I’m looking forward to reading the book that originated the movie, and I hope to see the cast and crew get a lot of praise later today in the Awards. Have you seen “Room”? Have you ever read the book in which it’s inspired on and, if so, do you recommend it?
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