Room is based on Emma Donoghue’s best-selling eponymous novel and tells of the experiences of Ma, a young mother imprisoned in an eleven-square-foot room, and her five-year-old son, Jack, who was born in captivity and has never known the outside world.
Abrahamson's ability to spin a subject best suited to horror into an emotional and heartwarming narrative is a testament to his talents as director – and the strength of Donoghue's narration. Room explores the naivety of those formative 'plastic' years and the potential lifelong repercussions of childhood trauma, but in the subtlest of ways. When, finally, the two manage to escape, they find themselves faced with the further challenge of adapting to life in the outside world.
With astonishing performances from seven year old Jacob Tremblay and the Oscar-tipped Brie Larson, Room is definitely worth the fuss.
It’s amazing to see such an ostensibly monstrous subject treated such warmth and humanity.
That’s what impressed me so much about Emma’s novel: people expect it’s going to be about the crime, but actually it’s not, it’s a sort of love story between a mother and her son; it’s about the mixture of claustrophobia and redemption that you get as a parent; it’s about moving from the small spaces of childhood into the bigger, much more challenging, world of adulthood.
The novel tells the story in the first person, from Jack’s perspective. How difficult was it to recreate that internal narrative visually?
The novelist starts with a blank page: Emma can take you wherever she likes, and all that exists in that moment – in that whiteness of the page – is the musing, or the thought, or the object, or the observation: nothing else. But as soon as you turn a camera on something, it floods you with information – nothing can be excluded.
We were trying to do something as delicate as Emma does in the novel – holding back the horror in favour of this hopeful voice, which you really buy into as a reader: this optimistic, energetic, cute intelligent little boy. What I said to Emma was: "Ok, so you have those words, but what we have, as filmmakers, is the face." You get to be present with this little boy.
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Room UK release date: January 15
|Various Locations | MAP
|Leicester Square (underground)
15 Jan 16 – 01 Apr 16, 12:00 PM – 12:00 AM
|£ determined by cinema
|Click here to go to the Room IMDB page