After my second viewing of Room, I knew it was something special. First, there has not been another film that deals with the issue of capture, and I’m not talking Liam Nesson coming to save you, captured. The Room details the daily routine of a seventeen year old girl who was captured by a neighbor. Brie Larson plays Joy Newson who was held inside a garage for seven years with only one skylight. While in captivity, Joy births a baby boy, Jack. Jack becomes her sole reason for living. Jack becomes her savior, and the two are able to fool her captor and survive, but the film doesn’t end there. Most films would end with the victim being rescued, Room chose to show the aftermath of having a child in captivity. Where most stories end, Room just begins.
Birdman, Gravity, 12 Years a Slave, and Argo. The past winners for best picture have many things in common. Whether you’re a man surviving his past, space, oppression or the middle east, it sure pays to be a man. If history taught us anything..
The Oscars have shown time and time again that female-driven storylines don’t make the cut for best picture. In no way am I saying the Academy or anyone in it is sexist. It’s not the Academy, it’s society. There are hundreds of stories like Joy’s. Just like in the film, we hide evils in our society, evils that force us to look at ourselves, evils that force us to confront our own fears. A woman having a child in captivity will never raise to level of best picture because it doesn’t end with the woman triumphing over evil. It ends with a woman learning to cope. It ends with the truth. The truth that is a continuing problem and should not be overlooked. It goes beyond women who are kidnapped. This film is for every women who has ever found themselves lost or trapped.
Unfortunately, Room will not receive it’s Oscar for best picture, but it’s not for lack of effort. It will be years before the Academy views the denigration of women as a worthy topic.