A Room With A View (Room review)

Perspective is everything when it comes to communication. One person’s experience is unique compared to another, but factor in variables like age, gender, ethnicity, and education, and things become that much more nuanced.

Today’s film review features a story that addresses exactly that idea. Shall we?

 

 

 

Room (2015)

Cast: Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, Sean Bridgers, Joan Allen, Tom McCamus, William H. Macy
Director: Lenny Abrahamson
released on blu-ray March 1, 2016
********** 10/10

room_poster

IMDB: 8.3
Rotten Tomatoes: 94%, Audience Score 94%
The Guardian: *****/*****

Leonad “Lenny” Abrahamson is an Irish film and television director. He has 5 feature films under his belt and now one Academy Award nomination for Best Director. And I’ll be the first to admit I knew absolutely nothing about him before looking into this review of Room. Which I only decided to watch after sitting down for the 88th Annual Academy Awards.

But I’m sure glad I did, because this movie packs an incredible emotional punch and hits you right in the ethics too. But let’s take a quick peek at the plot (I’ll refrain from spoiling the end).

Taken from Wikipedia and edited,

 

In Akron, Ohio, 24-year-old Joy (Brie Larson) and her five-year-old son Jack (Jacob Tremblay) live in a shed they call Room. They share a bed, toilet, bathtub, television, and kitchen; the only window is a skylight. They are captives of Old Nick (Sean Bridgers), Jack’s biological father, who abducted Joy seven years prior, and routinely rapes her while Jack sleeps in the wardrobe. Joy deals with depression and malnutrition. She allows Jack to believe that only Room is “real,” that the world on television is dreams.

Old Nick tells Joy he’s lost his job and cannot  afford supplies. When Joy reacts badly, he cuts their heat and power. Joy tells Jack about the outside world; which he rejects initially. She has Jack fake a fever, hoping that Old Nick will take him to a hospital where he can escape, but Old Nick decides to return the next day with antibiotics.

Joy wraps Jack in the carpet and has him play dead so Old Nick will remove him from Room. Falling for the ruse, Old Nick places Jack in the back of his pickup and drives through the neighborhood. Awed at first, Jack then jumps from the truck and attracts the attention of a passer-by. Police arrive and rescue Jack. Based on his recollections of Room and what Joy told him, the police find Joy and rescue her. Old Nick is arrested, and Joy and Jack are taken to a hospital.

Reunited with family, Joy learns her parents (Joan Allen, William H. Macy) have divorced and her mother has a new partner, Leo (Tom McCamus). They stay at her childhood home where her mother and Leo reside. Her father cannot accept Jack and leaves. Jack struggles to adjust to life in the larger world, speaking only to his mother and expressing a desire to return to Room. Joy struggles with anger and depression, lashing out at her mother and ignoring doctor’s appointments. She agrees to a television interview, but becomes angry when the interviewer questions her decision to keep Jack with her in the room after his birth, rather than asking Old Nick to leave Jack some place that he could be found.

It is an intimate and emotional story that continues an incredible arc.

Pros: Though an incredibly dark topic, the narrative never feels without hope or promise. Brie Larson does a fantastic turn as the mother and breakout young actor Jacob Tremblay is amazing as well.

Cons: The second half is quite difficult to digest and as a result it feels like it could have been given more of same treatment, looking through Jack’s eyes as the first half.

Runtime: 118 minutes

Points of Interest: Brie Larson spent a month in isolation without phone or internet and maintained a strict diet to prepare for the role, it caused her to become depressed in the last week. Old Nick is another name for the Devil in Christianity.

This is an incredibly powerful film depicting a very intimate and traumatic mother-and-child story. It is handled in such a way that you get to experience it from two perspectives simultaneously, with many of the objects, people and events often being fun or scary for Jack whereas they are painful and torturous for Joy.

I highly recommend you go see this film, because whether you’ve read the book or not, the story is unique and the characters are well acted.

And that’s all I’ve got for today, dear readers! Come back tomorrow for some wisdom, and please leave some comments as well as subscribing to the blog if you want to see more!

Tim!

What A Creep Show! (DeviantArt)

What the heck is a deviant? And why does it send a chill down your spine when Grandma calls that guy with a mustache across the street feeding the pigeons one?

I’ve often wondered this myself dear readers, and I’ve read definitions of the term of course, to properly understand what the word means, but do these people really exist? I feel compelled to wonder, and of course they do, because people are slowly coming to terms with the idea that normative behaviour isn’t as far reaching as we’ve been told by experts. but before I go any further, this description should get us all started on the same line of thought.

deviant

(ˈdiːvɪənt)

adj

1. (Sociology) deviating, as from what is considered acceptable behaviour

n

2. (Sociology) a person whose behaviour, esp sexual behaviour, deviates from what is considered to be acceptable

Okay, so if someone differs from a norm or a standard of society, then that makes them a deviant. But why do I have a strong suspicion that grandma is somewhat biased in her outlook?

giphy

Well to be quite blunt and methodical, my rationale for this is that while psychopaths and sociopaths are decently capable of managing their illness from an external viewers perspective, there are several factors to consider.

According to this article which discusses the findings of Dr. James Fallon (a neuroscientist of U of California who accidentally diagnosed himself with psychopathy), people can have the genetic markers of psychopathy but not be dangers to society, but that doesn’t mean they are criminals. And further to that point, it can be difficult to separate “discovery” of traits from “acknowledgement” of traits and realize that doesn’t make the person a threat.

So the assumption from grandma that someone is a threat because they have strange behaviour is problematic, and further to that point, the people who DO exhibit those tendencies or follow criminal behaviour don’t exhibit the behaviour in obvious ways in most cases.

But you knew that discussing sociology and criminal deviancy wasn’t the real intent of today’s Wisdom Wednesday post.

No I want to write about the implications of deviancy and share with you a resource that encourages that behaviour in the realm of the arts. And luckily for us, the name of said source is DeviantArt.

Deviant Art is the self-proclaimed “largest online art gallery and community,” and has been around since the beginning of the 21st century. Which is fairly poetic and appropriate, given the content it churns out.

Of course I am going to over the INs and OUTs of the community with you of course, but I think this tutorial video I’ve included below is a good place to look at before we continue. Mostly because it makes me laugh.

If I’m being perfectly frank, DeviantArt is not as obviously deviant from the typical fare as it sets out to be, but that doesn’t mean it is something to avoid. As you learn to navigate the forums, you will find some really amazing content and in many cases, it will spurn creative ideas.

Where you see the deviation will be in the communication of ideas.

Don’t be alarmed by this. Because it is an unmoderated forum, there will be offensive artwork, but mostly it comes in the form of posts and groups. The questionable content is what makes the website so unique in it’s identity.

This website has millions of images on it which is amazing in and of itself, but it also features videos and written content for artists pursuing those disciplines. It is effectively both a gallery and an art forum, a place for people to submit their artwork and comment on artwork with both text and pictures. Heck, if you want can record yourself making a drawing and submit the entire process to the website for critique.

I find it incredibly fascinating that users have the option to submit their works to be used however they personally deem appropriate. Which means that work could be copyright protected or distributed freely.

You have the option to view work that is trending, artwork that is currently featured in contests, whatever has been submitted in the past “instant”, participate in art challenges, submit work to particular boards, comment on blog posts or create your own virtual gallery. And you would be surprised by all of the different kinds of artwork available from pencil drawing to painting, from child friendly to mature themes, from realism to comic book fan art, there is something on DeviantArt for everyone.

I hope you enjoyed today’s resource folks, please leave some comments and share you experiences with the website or send me an email with a resource you want me to talk about next. I’m out of theories for now, till next time.

Tim!