Room: Engaging Thriller Starring Brie Larson in Oscar Caliber Performance

The new, captivating thriller, Room, won over audiences at the Toronto Film Festival, earning the People’s Choice Award, which speaks well of its commercial appeal.

Based on Irish novelist Emma Donoghue’s best-selling novel of the same title, the movie received its Los Angeles premiere at the Pacific Design Center.

Anchored by two tremendous performances, from Brie Larson and young Jacob Tremblay, Room is a dark,  emotionally harrowing story that, ultimately, manages to have a positive message of hope.

Jack, a spirited 5 year-old, is looked after by his loving Ma, who dedicates herself to keeping him safe, nurturing him with warmth and love and by doing all the ordinary and typical things, such as playing games, telling stories, and laughing. However, they are trapped in a windowless, 10-by-10-foot space, which Ma has euphemistically named “Room.”

Jack’s curiosity about their living conditions is aroused, and Ma finally decides it’s time to tell her boy the truth: Seven years ago, she was kidnapped (“stolen” she says) by Old Nick and imprisoned in Room.  Two years later, Jack was born.  But despite the grim context of his birth, it’s Jack’s existence that provides Ma her raison d’etre.

As Ma’s resilience reaches its breaking point, they enact a risky plan to escape, which forces them to confront an even scarier thing, the real world.

Despite its depressing situation, especially in the first reel, ultimately Room serves as a timeless tribute to the creative power of maternal love under the most extraordinary circumstances.

Dublin native Lenny Abrahamson needed more than just a common cultural background to convince the novelist Donoghue that he could transform her novel into a film. Abrahamson wrote the screenwriter a ten-page pitch, detailing his cinematic approach.

“He was just so full of crazy enthusiasm for the book, and yet he had a confidence about how he could translate it into cinema,” Donoghue said. “It was an irresistible letter. And I think anyone who wants to buy rights to a book should try this approach.”

Shooting in a confined space represents a unique experience for any actor, especially for the nine-year-old Jacob Trmblay, who gives a breakout performance.

Brie Larson prepared for her role by staying in her home for a month, but she doesn’t think much of that experience. “Have you ever just hung out at home for a while and gotten delivery? It’s not that big of a deal,” Larson said. “It wasn’t that giant of a leap for me to see what it was like to just sit in quiet and read.”

After debuting at the Telluride Film Fest and winning a major award in Toronto, Room has become an awards season player.

If the movie is nominated for best picture, it will be the second film in the last decade to have no major adult male actor role.