Room ★★★★★

"In the particular is contained the universal." -James Joyce

Room stares down inhumanity, shrouded in the confines of absolute villainy and irredeemable evil, and surfaces as one of the most life affirming and uplifting cinematic experiences in recent years. Abrahamson makes the intelligent choice of depicting the world through the eyes of our main characters, a fragile perspective full of wonder and possibility but also an incessant sense of wariness, a longing for the simplicity of Room. Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay crucially give vastly different, albeit powerful performances. Larson, with her efforts up til now, seems to have a powerful gift for conveying a sense of connection, the development of relationships and meaningful interactions. The chemistry here is remarkable, a force of absolutely beautiful performing and a showcase for the power of restrained direction. Truly an achievement on all fronts.

It's difficult to fathom the evil within this film, and how someone can go on in spite of it. The answer seems to lie within the power of familial relationships, the mystical bond between mother and child that endures through all, even the most hopeless scenarios imaginable. Abrahamson avoids exploiting this premise entirely, sidestepping the emotional contrivances so many films fall victim to and instead crafts a poetic, meditative look at the notion of enduring through abhorrent circumstances. Room is a truly beautiful, life affirming work of art that is absolutely essential.

Part of 2015 Films Ranked

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