Finally, something to get my teeth into! It feels like ages since I was genuinely excited by a film – step forward Lenny Abrahamson’s unlikely Oscar contender.
Based on the novel by Emma Donoghue (which is supposedly inspired by the story of Josef Fritzl), Room stars Jacob Tremblay as 5-year-old Jack and Brie Larson as Ma. Jack and Ma have been trapped in a 10 foot square box for half a decade, put there by Jack and Ma’s father/husband. Ma turns the space into as magical and beautiful a place as she possibly can for Jack, but as he grows older his curiosity for the situation they find themselves in grows, forcing Ma to plan an escape into the outside world.
Now, like the majority of people, I didn’t know of or care for this movie until a few days ago. However, at the end of last week this movie won the People’s Choice award at the 2015 Toronto Film Festival. Big woop, but who cares right? Well, it turns out you should.
Apparently the Tiff is seen as a reliable indicator for Academy Award Success, with recent Best Picture winners Slumdog Millionaire, The King’s Speech and 12 Years a Slave all winning this award just months before Oscar successes! This, coupled with what I hear is a great performance by Brie Larson, will surely mean that this will be in LA one way or another come February.
Also, I didn’t know where to put this but I feel it’s important, Irish director Lenny Abrahamson’s last directorial effort was Frank – a film praised by a similar audience in which Room has now won.
My personal opinion upon seeing the trailer is that this is going to be a very powerful and emotional film, but isn’t really the type of film I would go and see. It wouldn’t surprise me if this was mentioned at the Oscars, but I think to win something like Best Picture you have to find a balance between commercial success and artistic intelligence, and this for me goes too far into the artistic to get the general publicity needed to win at the Oscars.
Room is set for release in the USA on 16th October and in the UK on 29th January. I assume there’s such a time difference so the film can be entered for the 88th Academy Awards, which shows the studio’s intentions for this film. It also show’s that they don’t believe there’s too much of a commercial market for this film, and I would have to agree with them. Maybe if this film has Oscar success then they will give it a bigger distribution, however I don’t see many people even getting a chance to see this in cinemas, let alone it doing well in them.