Tim Burnham’s review published on Letterboxd:
A film that never falters for a single second in its portrayal of the love between a mother and son, the real effects of ptsd, the unseen difficulties of growing up, and the relationship between tragedy and those related to it.
The film is built beautifully on a structure that I can't even talk about all that much without spoiling just how far and how deep this film is willing to go on its material.
One of the films greatest accomplishments is the way it tells its story, relying heavily on perspective, particularly that of a six year old.
Lenny Abrahamson does some incredibly subtle work here, particularly in the 'Room' sides of the film, in the way that he gives the audience the story through Jack's eyes. When the film starts, everything is small and limited and confined. The camera doesn't move a whole lot and the shots are limited in their effectiveness, which reflects the youthful ignorance of Jack. As Jack grows up and is exposed to the brutal realities of the world around him, the camera moves more and grows less confined and more stable in what it sees. This continues through the Room portions in accordance with Jack's growth and understanding. Once the film leaves Room behind physically in favour of a giant, scary, new world, the film reverts back to its claustrophobic origins, showing how oppressive the openness of the world is to Jack. Again, as he grows and his view widens, so does the camera. It's wonderful work that fully plants the audience next to Jack as he travels through this narrative.
The other element that helps anchor the audience is the insanely human and complicated emotional roles that Jacob Tremblay and Brie Larson play in the film. They both understand the complexities of their characters mental states and relationship to one another on a cellular level and it makes every breakthrough and breakdown immensely effective to behold.
Once some time has passed and I can get the awe out of my eyes, I'll have to watch this again and reassess its strengths behind and in front of the camera, but for now it seems impossible and disingenuous to call this film anything but perfect.