In 'Room,' a Mom Creates an Entire World in the Confines of Four Walls

In the first part of the film, a horrific situation builds some gripping allegories, but these later dissolve into a standard family drama.

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There’s a paradox at the heart of “Room,” so my response to the film is mixed, too. Directed by Lenny Abrahamson, an Irish filmmaker, and adapted for the screen by Emma Donoghue (from her novel of the same...