Does Brie Larson deserve as Oscar? Well, short answer maybe. Long answer, depends on what I’m feeling that day. I thought Cate Blanchett did amazing in Carol, but Larson did equally amazing in my opinion in this film. So it’s honestly a coin flip for me. I think Charlotte Rampling (45 Years) and Saoirse Ronon (Brooklyn) are close behind and Jennifer Lawrence (Joy) in a distant last. But that’s just my opinion which is probably wrong on many levels.

This film is about Joy, Brie Larson, and her son, Jack, in a room for Jack’s entire life. You piece the story of what really happened to her throughout the film. I won’t ruin for you if you haven’t seen it. They eventually experience what it’s really like to see the full world. Their mindsets are altered after this isolation and they have to cope with what I can only explain as survivor’s guilt. It’s a true character story on how one would react after being held away from the world.

Short review: I’d recommend this to just about anyone who wants to see a strong story with great acting.

I think Brie Larson killed it. Her emotions were shown on her face well and you can feel exactly what she is because of it. I read on IMDb that she actually was in isolation for a full month and didn’t wash her face to show what it feels like. Whatever she did to prepare for this role, it paid off completely. Larson’s fear and guilt are palpable even when her face is off screen and you can only hear her murmur quietly in the corner. Even as the story progresses, her character never shifts or changes significantly to make the story feel unrealistic. Her performance is consistent and compelling. Maybe this will shift her career away from comedy. I don’t think I would mind that.

The kid in this film actually did ok. There were a few artistic things that were done with his character that I didn’t agree with because you could really see what he was thinking based on his expressions. The voice in his head was audible and I thought that was overkill. I would’ve rather just heard barely audible background music and just felt the tense atmosphere that he created. But as far as kid actors go, he did super well. His name is Jacob Tremblay. I feel like we should remember that name because he’s going places. Maybe not as popular as Chloe Grace Moretz but I expect to see him in many films in the next coming years.

Overall, this psychological drama was well done. The direction from Lenny Abrahamson was direct and consistent. It was a very good film. I can’t wait for the Oscars and we can see who will win between Larson and Blanchett. The story was good and it might be a contender for film of the year.

Score: 8.5/10