Room was definitely one of the better films of 2015. It had a terrific and very strong first and second act, however, in comparison, the third act fell short with both the director and writer (Lenny Abrahamson and Emma Donoghue) getting complacent and/or lazy and falling into a typical, run-of-the-mill storytelling.
Brie Larson gave a strong, honest performance but the third act really let her down, and so whether she is the Best Actress of the year is still not a foregone conclusion. But lucky for her, she had the talented Jacob Tremblay to play off with and the rise and fall of this film really laid on his shoulders. And he delivered. A pity that this year's Best Supporting Actor field is so crowded otherwise he'd deserve a nomination.
Abrahamson should be applauded for the first two acts. Amazingly shot within the confinements of a room, he managed to make it look big and claustrophobically small at the same time. That bottleneck first act was succinct in showing us everything about these two persons in the room, and also their captor. The short second act was exciting and riveting throughout with that final scene extremely well done to relay the tension and the unknown. But then we get the third act, and the exploration of the complex human-emotions following the aftermath was not well-captured. It felt too long and too draggy with no fixed focus on whose story he wants to tell: Mother or Child.
The last point could also be blamed on Donoghue, and it does makes one wonder is her original novel any different from this film. Kudos to her for capturing the innocence of Tremblay's character through his monologues which tells us a lot more than what Abrahamson's camera showed.
Larson is worthy of all the accolades that has been showered on her. Her performance was vanity-free, naked and she showed this realistic maternal strength, love, desperation and guilt. You believed her, and that is important. But, in the third act, she seemed less sure of herself. Nonetheless, this is a Brie Larson like we have never seen her before.
But like aforementioned, Tremblay is the most valuable person in this film. A lesser child actor may have made the character annoying but yet Tremblay had an innocence and naivete that was endearing and genuine.
Room was a good, smart film with amazing performances, and only if it could have kept that high standard up throughout, then it would have been a truly great film!