starring Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, Joan Allen, William H. Macy
screenplay by Emma Donoghue, based on her novel
directed by Lenny Abrahamson
by Walter Chaw If you've read the book, you'll probably like the movie. If you haven't, like me, you'll have some questions. Lenny Abrahamson's Room is about how a child's "plasticity" allows him to better recover from extreme psychological trauma. It's about how the adults in said child's life can aid in the process of recovery by hiding things from him and also letting him know that the reason the adults are better is because the child is a hero, and strong, and an appropriate catalyst for healing. That the adults' mental health is, in fact, the child's responsibility. I'm told the book is not exactly about those things, but then again, it's not exactly not about those things. Many watching the film find in it a redemptive story about a mother's relationship with her child. I find in it a seriously deranged, idealized fantasy in which an adorable little kid is given the weight of the world to carry and does so with no real ramifications for himself. I'd like to see a sequel to this film in which the little kid, Jack (Jacob Tremblay), reveals that he's been keeping roadkill in jars in the storm shelter he's moved into as a surrogate for his lost "room." I think that's the honest version of Room. You can leave comments at the bottom of this review that I will not read.