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Think about that little gardening shed in the back yard, you know the one where you keep the lawn mower, the weed eater, and all your gardening supplies? Now imagine living in a space that size for seven years and you have the premise for an emotionally charged 2015 drama called Room.

As this harrowing story begins, we are introduced to Joy and Jack, a mother and son who are living in a tiny room furnished with all the basics, but obviously cut off from the outside world, their only exposure to the outside world being a tiny skylight. Joy works tirelessly at keeping Jack safe and keeping him from asking too many questions that Joy really doesn't want to answer. We learn that Joy has been living in this shed for seven years, a virtual prisoner of someone referred to as Old Nick. The story opens on Jack's 5th birthday so some quick math reveals that Joy was imprisoned in this shed for two years before giving birth to Jack and that Jack has never been exposed to anything outside of this shed and hasn't really missed anything because Joy has made it her mission to make Jack think there is nothing abnormal about the way they are living.

This way of living is having its toll on both Joy and Jack and Joy decides that they have to get out and the only way she can do it is through Jack. She tells Old Nick that Jack is sick and needs to go to an ER and when that doesn't work, she devises a deceptively simple plan that involves Jack pretending to be dead. The ruse works and Jack and Joy are eventually rescued but this is only the beginning of a new and very complicated chapter of their lives.

Director Lenny Abrahamson perfectly captures that claustrophobic atmosphere that the first half of Emma Donoghue's screenplay, adapted from her own novel, requires. It is made clear immediately that these two people have been living in this tiny room for more than a minute, documented by their baking a birthday cake together for his 5th birthday and Jack being upset because they couldn't get candles from Old Nick. Yes, there are questions left unanswered, like why Old Nick imprisoned Joy in the first place and though it is hinted at in an interview Joy does, Old Nick is never confirmed to be Jack's father, but it couldn't really be anyone else.

We think Joy and Jack's rescue is pretty much the end of the story, but it's just the beginning as Jacks health must be monitored closely as whether or not the child has any kind of immune system is unclear. We watch Joy's tense reunion with her parents, which isn't as smooth as we might think, evidenced by Joy's father's inability to deal with his new grandson. It's heartbreaking watching Jack not to want to communicate with anyone but Joy, and worst of all, my heart sank as it is quietly revealed that Jack misses the room.

This film is not an easy watch, but it is a worthwhile one, thanks to Abrahamson's atmospheric direction and the performance by Brie Larson as Joy, which won her the Oscar for Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role and she is matched note for note by Jacob Tremblay's extraordinary work as Jack, one of the best performances by a child I have seen in a long time. I also enjoyed seeing Joan Allen and William H. Macy onscreen together as Joy's parents, the first time they have worked together since 1998's Pleasantville. This was a heartbreaking and unique motion picture experience that did actually have me shedding a few tears...this is one of those movies that leaves you frozen as the credits roll.