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ROOM Movie Review, based off of the National Best-selling novel from Emma Donaghue, is a heart-wrenching new film about a young boy and his mother finally escaping from the hands of their captor, allowing the boy to discover the outside world for the first time. Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay as ‘Ma’ and ‘Jack’ respectively, each give performances of a lifetime (which is kind of saying a lot, given both of their incredibly young ages) in director Lenny Abrahamson’s first film after the independent smash, FRANK. Donaghue returns to pen the screenplay from her own novel, giving the film a very complete and fresh feel unlike many book adaptations we’ve become accustomed to. So, as you can see, Team Room is fairly stacked in regards to young talent.

The first thing I need to reiterate is how amazing Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay are in this film. Larson has already won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Leading Role and is a strong contender for the coveted Best Actress Oscar this year. Both of which are very well deserved. She managed to portray a vulnerable, yet strong mother just trying to take care of her son in the worst possible conditions. Jacob gave the best performance from someone under the age of fifteen since Sean Astin in THE GOONIES. Actually he was far better than Sean Astin has ever been (that was harsh, I’m sorry). It’s rare to find a young actor knock such a difficult role out of the park, but some amount of credit has to be given to both Abrahamson’s direction as well as Larson’s counter performance. Regardless, I’ve never seen such wonder and enthusiasm in a performance, especially from a nine year old playing a five year old.

The emotional core of Room comes from Ma’s love and protection of Jack. It’s apparent from the first scene that he’s the only ray of light in her horrific life and that she’s willing to do anything to keep him happy. Unfortunately that means keeping him unaware of the reality beyond “Room”, leaving him unable to be hopeful for their futures. This idea is the main focus of the first act of the film. What is outside? Who can go there? What will happen when we leave Room? What does happen is that Jack learns about everything that was kept hidden from him for his first five years of existence. Some things are amazing and even magical, while others are cruel, scary, and make him miss his old home.

As you can expect, Room plays with your emotions a little bit. Or a lot. I’m not going to say that I left the theater with red, swollen eyes, but I definitely wasn’t too chipper about the experience. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a wonderful story that is beautifully directed and expertly acted, but it’s draining. Throughout the 2 hour run time, you’ll feel severe anxiety, crippling sadness, elated joy, and a smidge of anger. So basically it’s like watching INSIDE OUT!

All in all, Room deserves every award it has won or been nominated for. I’m still working my way through all of the Oscar nominated films this year, but I’ll honestly be surprised if Brie doesn’t snag the Best Actress statue. She and Tremblay had contagious chemistry together that I’ve been thinking about all weekend. Room may not be the best date movie, but if you get the chance to see it in a theater, I highly recommend the experience. After all, who doesn’t enjoy crying with a room full of strangers?

4 out of 5 Stars

ROOM – Dir. Lenny Abrahamson

Run Time: 118 minutes

Starring: Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, Joan Allen, William H. Macy

This week on Netflix we’re watching the breakout performance from Golden Globe winner Brie Larson and It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia which has surprisingly (or maybe not) won zero Golden Globes… But it’s never too late.

It’s also never too late to check out our previous episodes! 12 and 11

SHORT TERM 12 – Dir. Dustin Daniel Cretton (2013) IMDb

short-term-12-coverEasily, and I mean EASILY, the most emotional film I’ve seen in months, SHORT TERM 12 follows a troubled young woman as she learns more about herself through caring for underprivileged children in a residential treatment facility. Let me stress this a little more – this film broke me inside, giving me emotions I didn’t even know existed. Most of this is thanks to the incredible performance by Brie Larson who, just this weekend, won her first Golden Globe for the 2015 drama ROOM. Larson plays a staff member at Short Term 12, named Grace who works with her long time boyfriend, Mason and newcomer, Nate, played by MR. ROBOTS’ Rami Malek. Together they fight everyday to keep the children at their facility safe, stable, and positive. This isn’t such an easy task when the caregivers aren’t all that safe, stable, and positive themselves.

Brie Larson isn’t the only one who gives a noteworthy performance. Many of the young actors who play the children and teens living in the facility blew me away. It’s really rare to see such wonderful acting from a 15 year old, but sophomore director, Dustin Daniel Cretton made it happen. The dialogue, also written by Cretton, is genuine, funny, and quite inspiring. There are two or three parts of the film where the character Mason is simply telling a story to his coworkers, but it’s described so intricately that it feels as though we are seeing it take place on screen. That’s great dialogue. And yes, I might have cried a little during a few different scenes. But if you watch the movie, I’d be surprised if you don’t as well.

IT’S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA – Ten Seasons (2005 -) IMDb

Its-always-sunny-in-philadelphiaIn my opinion, FX has never produced a more unique and hilarious show than Always Sunny. Not a single character is like any one you’ve ever met before, yet they all feel incredibly real and just like someone you can imagine that hangs out at that gross bar down the street all day. And boy isn’t it fun to watch?! It’s like a train wreck where no one gets seriously injured so it’s totally okay to look at. Thankfully Netflix just added new episodes to the instant stream, so now you can watch that train wreck all day!

If you’ve already seen Always Sunny, I can’t change your mind about it: either you can’t find the humor and hate it, or you’re a part of the cult following that worships Danny DeVito. Both are completely acceptable, but if you haven’t given it a try watch a few episodes and let me know what you think. Feel free to skip around. Watch old episodes or maybe some of the newly added ones. It really doesn’t matter. Within no time, you’ll be wishing you could hang out with Charlie and Frank or yell at Dee for being annoying. Soon, they’ll start to feel like family. As you can tell, I’ve been watching way too much of this show recently, but that’s what happens when 10 of the 12 seasons are available at any time of the day!