Rated NR

This film does something I wish more films would do: focus on people who haven’t just received a high-wax buff and gloss at the local plastic surgery-ateria. Cyndi Williams (no, not Cindy Williams) stars as an impoverished woman working a dead-end job at a bingo parlor. She also suffers from crippling migraines and strange visions of an empty room. One day, she leaves her husband and daughter, steals a few thousand dollars and heads to New York. Williams is perfect in the lead, and the sleazy sets and natural acting make for some arresting scenes, including one of my favorite things that movies always fail to do: show romantic and erotic interactions between people who aren’t supermodels. Unfortunately, the film’s central conceit has something to do with psychic visions, and it’s a real drag. Every plot element would have worked fine without this, but the filmmakers apparently thought the audience was too dumb to enjoy a movie about a middle-aged woman’s pain and longing without throwing in some cheap-ass horror-movie effects. Whatever, Room is still more than worth seeing, and it really shows an important and interesting aspect of American life that is simply never represented on film.

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