Thursday, January 21, 2016

Room (2015)

At its most basic, the idea of authorship is tied to the fact that stylistic and thematic motifs can be found throughout a body of work. Since Hitchcock often employs operatic camera moves to tell stories of men pursued for crimes they did not commit, he is called an auteur. But what about all the other people involved in a film? Regardless of director, people love finding connections in the work of screenwriter Charlie Kaufman. And when you go to see a Jerry Bruckheimer movie, you have a pretty good idea of what you are going to see. I even once found an improvised box-set at a video store that was titled: Tommy Lee Jones Chases People.

Having seen and admired Brie Larson's powerful work in the 2013 film Short Term 12, I could not help but draw parallels between that film and Room. Both works are overwhelmingly focused on trauma and the ways in which it can both positively and adversely affect the lives of those who have been through it, and the people who love them. Sure both films are also expressions of their writers and directors (Destin Daniel Cretton actually worked in a group home prior to making Short Term 12 and philosophy student Lenny Abrahamson was clearly drawn to Room's subtextual underpinnings) but that doesn't mean that these films aren't also crucial works in the growing filmography of the awesome actress who anchored both. Anyone involved in a film can be an auteur, and that is what makes it such an amazing medium.

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