‘Room’ begins with a scene of a mother and her young son getting on with domestic life and shows some of the various flights of fancy in the son’s vivid imagination. It very quickly becomes clear that a man referred to as ‘Old Nick’ has had them confined to one small bedsit room for a number of years with only a skylight to glimpse the outside world.

Rather than showing the traumatic act of confinement or the initial period, the story cuts straight to an almost settled situation and concentrates on the relationship between mother Joy (Brie Larson) and 5 year old son Jack (Jason Tremblay) and particularly Jacks expansive imagination and ability to find amusements in the blandest of unchanging surroundings and harshest of situations.

It’s principally a display of a wonderful parent-child relationship in horrible circumstances. Joy initially insulates Jack from the situation but when he is old enough has to come clean and ask for him to help in attempting to escape.

It is a very moving and also life affirming film and I was really concerned for both of the characters at a point midway through the film, a sure sign of how involved I was with them. It may be that it has less of an impact of you are not a parent yourself though.

The third act of the film doesn’t shy away from confronting the difficulties of the trauma yet it ultimately manages to find reason to be optimistic.

Fantastic performances from both of the protagonists make it a film to look out for, but a dark subject matter.

4 on 5

Director: Lenny Abrahamson
Starring: Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, Joan Allen, Sean Bridgers, William H Macy
UK Release: 15th January 2016


The Disappearance Of Alice Creed

The Disappearance of Alice Creed Poster

A British kidnap-thriller film starring Gemma Arterton, Martin Compston and Eddie Marsan.

It starts with a tightly-editied almost dialogue-free section showing Martin and Eddie’s characters making preparations and planning before performing the kidnap itself. It is a brilliant 20 minutes or so that oozes brutal emotionless efficiency and tension without resorting to violence. After this it looks like the story might be taking an even more sinister turn, but big reveals about the background of the characters changes the picture completely.

For the most part it is a very effective thriller, but some of the plot machinations are a bit clumsy and the script occasionally feels a little unrefined.

The final tie-up is serviceable, but the final credits are brilliant. A Cathy Davey song ‘Holy Moly’ starts and the screen fills with some apparently abstract lines. As the camera pulls out they turn out to be roads that sit onto of a satellite image of the area in question.

So a brilliant start, a serviceable centre a some great end credits from a small crew. And a very appropriate title for a change.

3 on 5

Starring: Gemma Arterton, Martin Compston, Eddie Marsan
Director: J Blakeson
UK Release: 30 April 2010