“Ma” was kidnapped years ago, now has a young son Jack, and they live together in Room, which is actually a shack behind their kidnapper’s house. After setting up their relationship, the movie breaks them out of Room for the second half to see how Jack can adapt and how the parental relationship will fare and whether the media attention will turn Ma suicidal. Turns out Ma’s dad William Macy can’t handle the truth, but her mom Joan Allen and stepdad Tom McCamus are more understanding. Katy and I liked it a lot.
The director of Frank likes his titles short. Writer Emma Donoghue adapted her own novel. Kidnapper/rapist Sean Bridgers (that’s not a label he’ll want showing up in a google search) was in Deadwood and Rectify, started his career in the Nebraska-set Children of the Corn 2. Young Jacob Tremblay has two Naomi Watts movies filming. Brie Larson already got awards for Short Term 12, and unrecognizably played rival singer Envy Adams in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.
Edmond doesn’t love his wife anymore, maybe never has, so he leaves her, just walks out into the night. Goes to a pawn shop, gets himself a nice knife. Walks around getting increasingly frustrated, looking for a woman, but when he finally gets one alone he slices her up. Ends up caught for the crime, in jail.
William H. Macy is Edmond, and it’s a David Mamet script, so of course Macy’s got those stilted speech patterns down as only he can. George Wendt runs the pawn shop, Joe Mantegna probably begged for a cameo, Julia Stiles is the hot girl who gets sliced, and good to see Jeffrey Combs in a non-lunatic role as a faggy desk clerk. That’s Mamet vet Jack Wallace as the priest. Feels great to see a “respectable” Stuart Gordon movie… the guy needs more recognition as expert auteur of slimy and disturbing entertainment.
Edmond is a complicated guy, alternating between meek + wormy and enraged + righteous while on the streets, then unremorseful on his way to prison. He’s almost a hero for how purely he unleashed his thoughts and desires, if only he weren’t so full of hate, misogyny, homophobia and racism. Edmond finds peace at the end, some huge black guy’s bitch, becoming everything he has feared and learning (having) to live with it. Maybe that’s what brings him peace, it’s not confronting his fears but having no choice in the matter, having no free will to worry about anymore. After all, the choices he made when he had choices to make turned out badly. Anyway, pretty great movie, short and shocking.