Held captive for seven years in an enclosed space, a woman (Larson) and her 5-year-old son (Tremblay) finally gain their freedom, allowing the boy to experience the outside world for the first time.
Room premiered at the Telluride Film Festival on September 4, 2015 and had a limited release in the United States on October 16, 2015, to acclaim from critics. Larson won multiple awards for her performance, including the Academy Award for Best Actress, the BAFTA Award, Golden Globe Award, and the Screen Actors Guild Award. Room also received three other Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director.
In Akron, Ohio, 24-year-old Joy and her five-year-old son Jack live in a squalid shed they call Room. They share a bed, toilet, bathtub, television, and rudimentary kitchen; the only window is a skylight. They are captives of a man they call Old Nick, Jack’s biological father, who abducted Joy seven years prior, and routinely rapes her while Jack sleeps in the closet. She tries to stay optimistic for her son, but is suffering malnutrition and is sometimes overcome with depression. She allows Jack to believe that only Room and its contents are “real,” and that the rest of the world exists only on television.
Old Nick tells Joy that he lost his job and threatens he may not be able to afford their supplies in the future. When Joy reacts badly, he cuts their heat and power. Joy decides to tell Jack about the outside world; he reacts with disbelief and incomprehension, but also curiosity. She has Jack fake a fever, hoping that Old Nick will take him to a hospital where he can escape, but Old Nick says he will return the following day with antibiotics.
Joy wraps Jack in carpet and has him play dead in the hope that Old Nick will remove him from Room. Falling for the ruse, Old Nick places Jack in the back of his pickup truck and drives through a residential neighborhood. Although stunned by his first exposure to the outside world, Jack jumps from the truck and attracts the attention of a passer-by. The police arrive and rescue him. Joy is rescued, Old Nick is arrested, and Joy and Jack are taken to a hospital.
Reunited with her family, Joy learns her parents have divorced and that her mother has a new partner, Leo. She returns with Jack to 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 after his birth. Overwhelmed with guilt, she attempts suicide and is admitted to a hospital.
Jack begins to settle into his new life. He bonds with his new family and Leo’s dog Seamus, and makes friends with a boy his age. Believing his long hair will give Joy the strength she needs to recover, Jack has his grandmother cut it for him so he can send it to her. Joy returns home and apologizes, thanking Jack for saving her life again.
At Jack’s request, they visit Room one last time, escorted by police. Jack is confused; their possessions have been removed for evidence, and he feels it has shrunk, and that it is a different place with the door open. He and Joy say their goodbyes to Room and leave.