Take a fucking bow Brie Larson…
Hollywood is blessed right now with two spectacular actresses in Elizabeth Olsen and Jennifer Lawrence. Brie Larson impressed in The Spectacular Now, dazzled in Short Term 12 and with Room she has taken acting to a level that even Olsen and Lawrence are yet to reach. Before you accuse me of hyperbole, Larson has yet to prove she can carry a franchise or show the sheer range that Jennifer Lawrence has or the ability to star in a blockbuster like Olsen but in terms of a singular performance, Brie Larson in Room is right up there with any dramatic turn from anyone. She really is that fucking good.
Take nothing away from child actor Jacob Tremblay though, who gives the most memorable performance from an actor his age since Haley Joel Osmont in The Sixth Sense. It is a heartbreaking and visceral turn from one so young but make no mistake this is Larson’s film. Determined yet vulnerable, strong willed but falling apart, it is the realism that Larson brings that makes the performance so memorable. There is a girl next door quality to the young actress that makes her incredibly believable whilst also exuding film star charisma and grace. It is another quite simply phenomenal show of acting.
Irish director Lenny Abrahamson’s last film was wacky and hilarious Frank. It is difficult to think of one director making two more disparate films back to back which only makes Room even more of an achievement. As well as some beautiful dialogue either lifted straight from the book or written especially for the screen by author Emma Donoghue, the sparse soundtrack and beautiful cinematography help to keep Room exciting despite taking place within the same four walls.
Room is a dark film. A film where any shred of hope is guarded and mired with danger. It is also a concept that could have fallen flat on its face had it not been undertaken by such a talented director and a fucking ridiculously gifted actress. They might as well just hand her the Oscar now.