tue 21/05/2019

DVD: Room | reviews, news & interviews

DVD: Room

DVD: Room

Brie Larson won an Oscar, but there's more to this adaptation of Emma Donoghue's novel

The sky's the limit: Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay in 'Room'

The concept of Room as a home entertainment is freighted with irony. Emma Donoghue’s 2010 novel, which she adapted for Lenny Abrahamson to direct, tells of a young woman who, abducted at 17 and held in captivity, has for five years brought up her son in the eponymous room. Their world – the world of Ma and Jack - is 121 feet square, and they have to make their own home entertainment.

The film is most celebrated for the compelling performances. Brie Larson won an Oscar, a Golden Globe and a Bafta as a mother who like a magus recreates her narrow world from scratch. Just as remarkable is Jacob Tremblay, an eight-year-old playing five with long girlish hair. In a story of two halves, the bond that they conjure up in the first is intensely tested in the second when they escape into the wider world. You may come away from the film marvelling at quite the extent to which both characters have managed to buoy up each other’s psychological strength without much recourse to mental health professionals. Also Jack gives up five years of breast-feeding without a feelgood absence of tantrums and trauma. But as a portrait of the mutual love of a mother and a child – and latterly of a grandmother (Joan Allen) - Room is deeply moving.

A strong selection of extras includes an audio commentary by four key players behind the camera, as well as a set of featurettes that add genuine value. Set designer Ethan Tobman in particular is fascinating on the diverse influences that went into creating the room. The film merits repeat viewing to appreciate again the magic trick of turning a tiny space which, like Hamlet’s nutshell, into an infinite space.

Overleaf: watch a featurette on the making of Room

Set designer Ethan Tobman in particular is fascinating on the diverse influences that went into creating the room

rating

Editor Rating: 
5
Average: 5 (1 vote)

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