When Emma Donoghue converted her novel Room into a screenplay, director Lenny Abrahamson sent a letter pleading her to let him bring her vision to screen. Abrahamson felt as though another director would choose to take the script and churn out another crime thriller focused on the captor, not his victims.
The trust between Donoghue and Abrahamson pays off wonderfully in this life-affirming piece of work about a mother and her son trapped within a 10x10ft room for years. Loosely based upon historical events such as the Josef Fritzl case, Room should show the worst colours of mankind, but instead perfectly represents the foundations we all rely on. Looking through the eyes of Jack, a five year old who has never known beyond the room, we see the bright, new opportunities and horizons life has for us. From the perspective of his mother, we cling onto hope as it’s the only thing we have left. These emotions draw out the humanity in both us and the film.
Throughout his career as a filmmaker, Lenny Abrahamson has proven himself a real talent working through multiple genres, but still revealing the bare bones and truth of the films he directs. This is no different with Room, providing a heartfelt tale of a mother and her child, perfectly portrayed by Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay.
This perfection is carried over to the cinematography by Danny Cohen who overcomes a great challenge and helps us to see Room as the giant world that Jack sees, going “in every direction, all the way to the end”. The score also goes a great length to help the film achieve greatness, with Stephen Rennick’s subtle tones adding a warm depth.
In an era where most Oscar nominated films stretch to almost 3 hours, this 117 minute triumph seems remarkably easy, yet each minute will simultaneously warm and break your heart.
What did you think of Room?
Comment with your thoughts.
– Ryan Keen