At this point, after watching the film twice, I'm almost kind of terrified that I might accidentally read any interviews with Brie Larson or director Lenny Abrahamson or articles about the making-of the movie Room, lest I ruin the magic that is central to it, this film's big pounding heart, an astonishing performance by eight-year-old Jacob Tremblay. I don't know how they did it. I don't want to know how they did it. I don't necessarily want to believe that they locked this kid in a room for his entire childhood and went full Method on him, but it's the only thing I can believe. Otherwise every one of us who do whatever we do have failed what we do in the shadow of this kid's work.
This isn't some "let's poke him with a stick and turn the camera on quick to film his reaction" child actor performance. Abrahamson's camera stares and stares at Tremblay and he stares back for a really long time and you don't ever, not once, not believe this kid is who he's telling us he is, and the terror of falling in love with him and wanting to protect him becomes so acute and extraordinary that it is at times entirely unbearable, and at other times it is like joy itself. It all rides on his whims -- put a puppy in front of him and your heart will feel like music; scare him mercilessly and watch your everything crumble. I don't want to know how, I don't want to know what. We have Room and Room is more than enough..
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