This Oscar nominated film is based on the best-selling novel of the same name by author Emma Donoghue, and explores the boundless love between a mother and her child.
‘Room’ tells the extraordinary story of Jack (Jacob Tremblay), a spirited 5-year-old who is looked after by his loving and devoted Ma (Brie Larson). Like any good mother, Ma dedicates herself to keeping Jack happy and safe, nurturing him with warmth and love and doing typical things like playing games and telling stories. Their life, however, is anything but typical – they are trapped – confined to a windowless, 10-by-10-foot space, which Ma has euphemistically named “Room”.
Ma has created a whole universe for Jack within Room, and she will stop at nothing to ensure that, even in this treacherous environment, Jack is able to live a complete and fulfilling life. But as Jack’s curiosity about their situation grows, and Ma’s resilience reaches its breaking point, they enact a risky plan to escape, ultimately bringing them face-to-face with what may turn out to be the scariest thing yet: the real world.
Having built her novel so meticulously, Emma Donoghue was perhaps the best candidate on earth to remodel ‘Room’ into a visceral, visual experience that would embrace the book but also reach out to audiences completely unfamiliar with it.
Yet, it’s rare for authors to adapt their own bestsellers for the screen; and Donoghue had no screen credits to her name when it was published. So Donoghue decided, even as she was writing the novel, that she would pre-emptively start her own adaptation, bringing her unique vision to it.
“I always felt ‘Room’ might be a film because the storyline had so much natural momentum, though I realized it would take a very smart filmmaker to work out exactly how to bring it to life,” Donoghue says. “So as soon I’d written the novel, before it was even published, I started working on the screenplay. I thought, ‘Now is the perfect time to write the film with no one interfering’ – to kind of seize the power. Since I had no track record as a screenwriter, I also thought it might put me in a stronger position to have a draft ready to show as soon as the idea came up. Writers are often bedevilled by uncertainties, but from the beginning with ‘Room’, I always had clear, strong instincts.”
The metaphorical underpinnings of ‘Room’ were swirling and vast – at every turn the story seemed to reflect on the mysteries of life itself: on the wondrous, haunting privateness of childhood; on the primal, protective drives of parenthood; on the urge to create meaning out of wherever and whatever we are. As Donoghue puts it: “It was a way of taking the most extreme parent-child situation to explore the everyday experiences of parents and children – to explore the full span of emotions that come into play in this essential, somewhat crazy drama of our lives.”
The book’s darkness was offset by an undercurrent of love – messy, flawed, burdened, never-ending love – that runs throughout. Says Donoghue: “One of the ideas behind ‘Room’ is that children have this natural tendency to thrive. So long as they’re getting love and affection, even if it’s in dark or incomprehensible circumstances, they’re so adaptable, they’ll find a way to be OK and to grow up.”
‘Room’ is nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actress for Brie Larson.
CAST: Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, Joan Allen, Sean Bridgers, William H. Macy
DIRECTOR: Lenny Abrahamson
OPENS: FEBRUARY 26
MI6’s top assassin (Mark Strong) has a brother. Unfortunately for him, he’s an English football supporter (Sacha Baron Cohen) from the town of Grimsby. Nobby has everything a man from the poor English fishing town of Grimsby could want – nine children and the most attractive girlfriend in northern England (Rebel Wilson). There’s only one thing missing in his life: his little brother, Sebastian.
After they were adopted by different families as children, Nobby spent 28 years searching for him. Upon hearing of his location, Nobby sets off to reunite with his brother, unaware that not only is his brother an MI6 agent, but he’s just uncovered a plot that puts the world in danger. On the run and wrongfully accused, Sebastian realizes that if he is going to save the world, he will need the help of its biggest idiot.
This British spy action comedy film is written by Sacha Baron Cohen, Phil Johnston, and Peter Baynham.
CAST: Mark Strong, Sacha Baron Cohen, Penelope Cruz, Isla Fisher, Rebel Wilson
DIRECTOR: Louis Leterrier
OPENS: FEBRUARY 26
FILM: THE BOY
In search of a fresh start away from a troubled past, a young American woman seeks refuge in an isolated English village, only to find herself trapped in a waking nightmare in ‘The Boy’, an unconventional horror thriller from director William Brent Bell (‘The Devil Inside’).
When Greta (Lauren Cohan – TV’s ‘The Walking Dead’ and ‘The Vampire Diaries’) takes a job as a nanny for an 8-year-old boy, she is shocked to discover that she has been hired by a strange elderly couple to care for Brahms, a life-sized doll that they treat like a real child. A stand-in for the son they lost tragically 20 years earlier, Brahms comes with a lengthy list of rules that Greta is warned to follow to the letter. Left alone in the sprawling mansion while her new employers take a long-awaited holiday, Greta ignores the rules and begins a tentative flirtation with handsome local deliveryman Malcolm (Rupert Evans), until a series of disturbing and inexplicable events convinces her that supernatural forces are at work. As she is pulled deeper and deeper into a frightening mystery, Greta faces a terrifying final twist in a nail-biting thriller that should have audiences guessing until the final moments.
CAST: Lauren Cohan, Rupert Evans, Jim Norton, Diana Hardcastle, Ben Robson, James Russell
DIRECTOR: William Brent Bell
OPENS: FEBRUARY 26