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Firstly, it is astonishing to see what other films ran as contenders for the Best Film Academy Award. Compared to “Room”, many trivialities put up on screen pale, and should be actually a bit embarrassed to be on the same list as this. “Room” is a fantastically intense, moving, dramatic and beautiful bit of film making, with outstanding cast. Taking the situation of a kidnapping and captivity as a starting  point and then deciding to not make this an escape thriller, or a torture drama, or a revenge plot is bold and brave, and raises the script above all the rest.

The film is about two lives with very different starting points, and how these two people deal with an abrupt change. There is the mother, who had a live before Room, who knew what she lost and has an expectation on what’s to be gained if a way out can be found. And there is the boy, who has never seen anything but the four walls and the ceiling of Room, and whose primary expectation about getting out is one of fear of loss. He is more right than his mother, maybe, because live outside is more complicated, especially when exposed to the expectations of the family and the public. The media is without mercy in driving home the most painful points, and the mother, after years in captivity, is not flexible enough in her thinking to counter the assaults. There are several scenes where the initially introduced perfect mother figure crumbles and finally collapses, where the danger of telling a fairy tale is quickly done away with and authentic humanity and fallibility shows its face. The mother struggles to attach herself to other things or persons but her son, and also struggles with explaining her emotions and rationale during captivity. She collapses when during an interview the question comes up whether the thought might not have crossed her mind to find a way for her son to get out, with her staying behind. Having observed those two people’s lives, this suggestion is so outrageously cruel that words fail.

Watching “Room” may be a harrowing experience, but what a beautiful and, yes, uplifting one, too!

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