An especially telling moment of Room is when Jack (Jacob Tremblay) meets a dog for the first time. The happy ending of this film’s premise – Jack and his Ma (Brie Larson) escape their captor – occurs less than halfway through, which leaves plenty of time for the ending to be not so happy as it could be. And it is and it isn’t. The canine introduction is one of those times when things are going well, but it feels a little foreboding. The dog might not be as friendly or as exciting as advertised (he’s great, don’t worry). These are the risks that come with living in the outside world after years spent locked away in a shed. Really, this is the risk of life itself when moving onto any new stage. Jack’s path to these moments is unusual, and they convey the power of discovery that is not always obvious to someone without a traumatic past. His story can open viewers’ eyes in a way that is both sobering and exhilarating.