Room on Blu-ray – The DVDfever Review

room

Room An 11ft-square room, to be precise.

This is a film which really didn’t grab me by its premise of a mother and her son in the one location, even though I have loved some movies with one locations, like Hitchcock’s Rope and, for the most part, Reservoir Dogs. I saw the trailer. I just didn’t get it.

Oscar-interest aplenty doesn’t always mean a film I’ll enjoy, but then, after Mark Kermode said on the BBC News Film Review, “It’s not the film you *think* it is”, I thought I’d give it a shot.

It took about 20 minutes before I *got it*, in terms of being hooked by it, and it IS gripping as there’s a story to discover which is VERY well told.

The film starts with the young lad, Jack, turning five, yet there’ll be no big party for this momentous occasion, since he’s spent his entire life in Room. And it is just called ‘Room’. Brie Larson‘s character is simply referred to as “Ma”, and she controls his understanding of everything. A mouse isn’t a mouse, it’s “mouse”. Same with “bad tooth”, since she really needs a dentist.


rooma

Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay


To Jack, there’s Room, then outer space – with all the TV planets (since that’s pretty much their only visual outlet), then Heaven. Plant is real, but not trees. As for any provisions, all he knows is that a man referred to as Old Nick gets everything they need. And as he’s being forced to understand what the world’s about now he’s five years old – as Ma reckons he’s now old enough, he bemoans, “I want to be four again”. Aww… 🙂

Questions I had while I watched it included “Why are they in there?” and “What’s going on in the outside world that’s led to this?”

However, Room is a film that’s difficult to describe without giving spoilers, so all I’ll say is that your questions will be answered in what is a very well-rounded film, and it’s a rare one that also has a satisfactory ending. I don’t think it’s Oscar-winning-worthy for Brie Larson as Best Actress – she’s very good, but Jacob Tremblay was quite brilliant in his role as Jack. However, I think it’s another step to creating an often-suggested Oscar and BAFTA award for Best Ensemble Cast for these two, as they work brilliantly together.

And it’s also is certainly a step-up from the diabolical mess that was Frank, director Lenny Abrahamson‘s last movie.


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It’s lonely in Room…


The film is presented in the original 2.35:1 widescreen theatrical ratio and is in 1080p high definition, and looks crisp and sharp, bringing the horrific-looking, stinky titular room to the screen, just as you’d expect for a modern movie release.

The sound is in 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and it’s fine, but as it’s mostly a drama, there’s not a huge amount going on in the rears. Then again, it’s not a special effects film.

The extras are as follows:

  • Featurettes: seven of them here – three main ones: 11×11 (9:06): a great look at the intricate detail of creating such a small space, yet with so much packed into it; Making Room (12:02): taking the idea from script to screen; and Emma’s Corner (4:53): Emma Donoghue, who wrote the screenplay from her own novel, takes a tour of the set.

    And four very brief ones, clearly created for TV filler, which is not a problem if that sounds like one, and it’s good to see them included here, but we could do with some more substantial extras: Brie Larson on becoming Ma (1:34), Jacob Tremblay: The Discovery (1:49), Emma Donoghue: Adapting the novel (2:04) and Brie and Jacob: An unbreakable bond (1:59).

    There’s also an audio commentary featuring director Lenny Abrahamson, cinematographer Danny Cohen, editor Nathan Nugent and production designer Ethan Tobman.

    The menu features subtle animation of the skylight, with the transition from day to night and back again, there are subtitles in English and a bog-standard 12 chapters.

    Below, you can see my vlog about Room, which also includes a brief clip or two…

    Room is released tomorrow on Blu-ray and DVD, and click on the packshot for the full-size image.


    Room …at the top – DVDfever vlog


    FILM CONTENT
    PICTURE QUALITY
    SOUND QUALITY
    EXTRAS
    9
    10
    7
    4
    OVERALL 7.5


    Cert:
    Running time: 118 minutes
    Year: 2015
    Released: May 9th 2016
    Chapters: 12
    Picture: 1080p High Definition
    Sound: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1
    Languages: English
    Subtitles: English
    Widescreen: 2.35:1 (Redcode RAW (6K))
    Disc Format: BD50

    Director: Lenny Abrahamson
    Producers: David Gross and Ed Guiney
    Screenplay: Emma Donoghue (based on her novel)
    Music: Stephen Rennicks

    Cast :
    Ma: Brie Larson
    Jack: Jacob Tremblay
    Old Nick: Sean Bridgers
    Nancy: Joan Allen
    Leo: Tom McCamus
    Robert: William H Macy
    Talk Show Hostess: Wendy Crewson
    Veteran: Sandy McMaster
    Doug: Matt Gordon
    Officer Parker: Amanda Brugel
    Officer Grabowski: Joe Pingue
    Dr. Mittal: Cas Anvar
    Attending Doctor: Zarrin Darnell-Martin
    News Anchor: Jee-Yun Lee
    Lawyer: Randal Edwards
    FBI Agent: Justin Mader
    Neighbour: Kate Drummond
    Jack’s Friend: Jack Fulton

    Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.
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