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Room

Brie Larson play Ma; she and her son Jack (Jacob Tremblay) have been held captive in a tiny shed for all of the 5 years he has been alive. It is the only world he knows, and the skylight high above is his only indication that there is something else outside. The first half of the movie, shot entirely in Room, is very difficult to watch and rather claustrophobic at times. The second half of the movie when they are out is a revelation. There is a scene right in between the two periods of their lives that is absolutely breathtaking. The acting by Larson and Tremblay is some of the best of the year; the chemistry between the two is amazing, and what they both achieve to create the psychological depth that permeates the film is astounding. Huge thumbs up from me for a film that explores the depth of the bond between mother and son and the psychological challenges to that bond both inside and outside of captivity. It doesn’t always pack the same punch during the second half, but the superb acting keeps the story moving. (2015; 4.5 stars)

About Gary Burkholder

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