Wesley R. Ball’s review published on Letterboxd:
How Brie Larson won that Golden Globe and was nominated for an Oscar is beyond me. Honestly I didn't feel one bit moved by this over-budgeted and overhyped Lifetime Original Movie. It's an interesting concept, I will admit, but the execution is just so mind bogglingly dull that I wonder what other people saw in this film to begin with.
Room is the very definition of "Oscar bait." It has performances meant to elicit some emotional response from the average moviegoer, and of course a touching personal relationship between two primary characters. That connection, while clearly strong, was not very palpable in the end, making me wonder how Lenny saw his final cut and was convinced that these two would make a strong enough connection with their audience beyond the screen. It's not necessarily manipulative, but it's certainly far too melodramatic to be that memorable.
I'm not blaming the kid here, mind you. When it comes to films with young leads, I find it a bit easier to give them a break because of their inexperience and frailty (one reason I still enjoy Star Wars Episode I, for what it's worth). The problem lies in the fact that the film chose to completely tell its story from the kid's point of view. I understand that it's his story that they are telling, but his viewpoint was so mind-numbingly sappy that I almost choked. There's a clear line between cinematic storytelling and soap opera melodrama, and Room steps far across that line into uncharted and unwelcome territory.
Room is probably one of the most unbelievably overhyped films of 2015. Even more so than The End of the Tour, a film I didn't personally care for but understand the love surrounding it (particularly Segel's performance). It astonishes me that the Academy gives awards attention to such a melodramatically dull film, and not to other more deserving films such as, say, Queen of Earth. But I suppose it's just typical of the Academy to give so much love to something like this, since I did label it as Oscar bait. Brie Larson doesn't deserve an award for this film, her performance was more than lacking. It wouldn't even be worthy of Emmy awards if it was just a television special, which is honestly what it feels like it should have been.