The subject matter is hard-hitting, but that’s only indirectly what makes this study of human psychology so powerful and interesting. Brie Larson plays a woman who along with her 5-year-old son (Jacob Tremblay) has been confined by her captor to live in a small garden shed for years. Despite her distress, she does her best to give her son a positive outlook on life and normalize his days as much as possible. The most fascinating and by all accounts truthful observation this unorthodoxly beautiful film has to offer is the remarkable adaptive capacity a child as young as Jack has in an extreme situation like this. Despite the immorality of the situation, for him it isn’t really extreme in any other sense than for the lack of air and space to roam. One of several clever aspects of Emma Donoghue’s story (she wrote the script based on her own novel) is the shift in Joy’s situation as we move locales. She goes from strong caregiver to traumatized victim, which materializes once she consciously or sub-consciously realizes that her son is finally safe.
Donoghue's insightful script and director Lenny Abrahamson's sensitive handling of it makes Room an effective movie. But it's the magnificent acting by young Mr. Tremblay that really elevates the film into an experience out of the ordinary. Tremblay gives what will rank as one of the best performances of all time by actors in this age group. He has a remarkable, almost puzzling naturalness in front of the camera and – not least – in relation to his co-stars.