The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The Ticker
  • Welcome back to the Daily Eastern News!
  • Check out our podcasts on Spotify!
  • May 24- Marqus McGlothan named interim women's basketball coach 🏀
  • June 28- Tara Archibald steps down as Eastern's softball coach
  • July 8- EIU announces computer refresh cycle 🖥️
  • Aug. 19- First day of class
  • Aug. 29- Football at the University of Illinois 😟
  • Check out our newsletters!
  • Who is Aidan Cusack?
The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

‘Room’ brings emotions, social inquiry to surface

To the 5-year-old child who has never been beyond their confines, the four meager walls of the backyard shed of his mother’s kidnapper encompass the entire world.

Director Lenny Abrahamson presents this gripping story through his 2015 film based on a 2010 novel of the same name, “Room” by Emma Donoghue.

In doing so, Abrahamson captures not only the resilient bond between mother and child but also the immense struggles that come along with the role of a protective parent, no matter the circumstances.

Known by its young, long-haired occupant Jack (Jacob Tremblay) only as “room,” the shed is where Jack’s mother loves and takes care of him, “Old Nick” (Sean Bridgers) uses magic to bring them presents like food and vitamins, and the TV is a window to the lives of aliens and fantasies.

What Jack doesn’t know is that the outside is much bigger than his sole view through the skylight above, and Old Nick abducted his mother Joy Newsome (Brie Larson) seven years ago and has kept her locked in the shed to repeatedly rape her ever since.

Jack’s anger and confusion when his mother—realizing that Old Nick is becoming more dangerous and her son is growing older—tries to explain that dogs are real, the people in the TV are real, oceans and grass are real, and so on is apparent through Tremblay’s incredibly natural acting style.

His abilities even earned him the Critics’ Choice Movie Award for Best Young Performer and a nomination for the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role.

Despite some key plot differences, the strength in the film is that its point of view is similar to the way the story is presented in the novel, which is told from Jack’s perspective.

The film begins inside “room” and shows Joy nurturing, exercising and teaching her son as much as possible, and right away viewers see the world how Jack does, like when he peers through “wardrobe,” which he pretends to sleep in during Old Nick’s nightly visits.

While being emotionally intense, the film also raises several social and psychological issues and questions both during and after Joy’s calculated escape attempts for her son.

Their rocky road to freedom is paved with probing questions like how one’s perception of reality forms, the various roles of the media, and the complex processes of childhood development and of healing.

Several deeply touching moments are sprinkled throughout the film along with the unnerving realities as Jack slowly discovers and connects with the world, which makes “Room” a worthwhile watch.

Stephanie Markham can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Stephanie Markham
Stephanie Markham, Editor-in-Chief
My name is Stephanie Markham, and I am the editor-in-chief of The Daily Eastern News. I have previously worked as news editor, Verge editor, administration editor and staff reporter. I am a senior journalism major and creative writing minor. I can be contacted at [email protected].

Comments (0)

Commenting on the Daily Eastern News web site is a privilege, not a right. We reserve the right to remove comments that contain obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language. Also, comments containing personal attacks or threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
All The Daily Eastern News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest