Coming fresh off of making my fourth favorite movie from last year, Abrahamson shifts from quirkiness to straight drama and tension. Like Frank, this film gives a near-complete character study for the main actors without the added quirks. Ma and Jack are transformed before our very eyes. Abrahamson leads our eyes to closer examination through his use of close-ups and point-of-view shots. We are either staring straight at the faces of the characters or we are inside of the characters' bodies throughout almost all of the film. This helps build an effective relationship between the audience and the subjects of the film.
The most intriguing part of this film for me, aside from the superb acting, is the storytelling. Often, we are pulled into the mind of a five year old boy. He explains to us what he sees and how he sees it. This further strengthens the relationship of the audience to the characters. Not only are we hearing our own thoughts on the experiences laid out in the film, but we are hearing exactly what the boy is thinking. I found that this was a creative and immersive way of creating a film that is filled with different perspectives.
The Bottom Line: Come on, just give her an Oscar already.