Despite the dreary living conditions, the film is beautifully shot, and you feel like a fly on the wall of this tiny space, almost as if you're intruding on Ma and Jack.
Just like the book, the film will stay with you long after the credits roll. It's easy to make you cry with such heavy subject matter, but to also bring some laughs out, to see the light side of things, is an incredible feat by director Lenny Abrahamson and the young Tremblay. Larson gives a riveting performance, and the role couldn't have been cast better.
While the story is dark, and there are so many hopeless moments in it, in the end it's a story about hope, and about how losing hope is never an option.
Naturally, the film adaptation couldn't be entirely true to the book (as the book is written from Jack's perspective), but Abrahamson does well with what he has, making the audience feel claustrophobic with tight shots and his ability to make us feel as if we ourselves are in Room with them.
Part of what makes the drama feel so real and gritty is knowing that this does happen in real life, and while this story is fiction, you can't help but have a pit in your stomach knowing that such evils could exist right in your own backyard. This is also due to the fact that it takes place in just that, a backyard like any other. Lend that to the stories you see on the news and you feel like you could be watching a true story.
Overall, it's one of the best films of the year so far, and one that will leave you feeling shaken and wanting to call your mother afterwards. An absolute must-watch.
Room opens October 16th.
'My Skinny Sister' Review
With fantastic portrayals by newcomer Rebecka Josephson and Amy Deasismont, the film really digs deep into all the secrets that go into hiding an eating disorder and how it can tear up not just the person suffering, but their whole family. There is also the aspect of the training regimes of young female athletes, and how it can warp their minds.
The bond between sisters is a strong one, and the young actresses perfectly embody the highs and the lows of that tumultuous teenage time. The parents are the weaker part of the film, as they seem distant and removed, like they have no idea what's going on in their daughters lives, despite apparently being doting parents.
Overall, the perspective from the younger, chubbier sister was an interesting directorial choice from Lenken, and one that paid off, keeping the eating disorder narrative fresh and interesting. The naivety of learning about eating disorders when they're so close but not being the one actually affected.
Overall it was an interesting, thought-provoking film, and definitely worth a Saturday afternoon. The next showing is this Saturday at 12:30 pm. Get more details, and find more TIFF showtimes here.