Best of TIFF Reunions: ROOM (2020)

  • Best of TIFF Reunions
  • 30min

Co-stars Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay, director Lenny Abrahamson, and writer Emma Donoghue come together to revisit the 2015 adaptation of Donoghue’s harrowing novel, which became a surprise indie hit, launched Tremblay’s acting career, and earned Larson an Academy Award for Best Actress.

This event can be viewed on Bell Digital Cinema September 10–19, or you can tune in to TIFF’s Facebook and Twitter for the free livestream on September 16 at 7pm.

To watch past TIFF People’s Choice Award winners, check out the Best of TIFF Collection on Crave.

Based on the Booker-shortlisted bestseller by Irish-Canadian novelist Emma Donoghue, Room is a tale of survival and endurance that is by turns harrowing, suspenseful, and wondrous. Recounting the story of a mother and child escaping from the captivity in which they have been held for several years, this visionary drama explores the trauma of being stolen from the world — and the marvel of discovering it for the first time.

Born in captivity, five-year-old Jack (Jacob Tremblay) knows nothing of the world beyond the shed to which he and his Ma (Brie Larson) are confined. Ma was only seventeen when she was stolen away to this grim place, where her only visitor is Old Nick (Sean Bridgers), her kidnapper — and Jack’s father. After Ma devises a precarious plan for their escape, Jack finds himself thrust out into the world beyond “Room” for the first time, where the array of people, places, and things, of sights, sounds, and sensations, leaves him both frightened and awestruck. For Ma, meanwhile, the process of recovery will require just as much courage as her years spent enduring her imprisonment.

Rigorously adhering to the novel’s subjective point of view, Room shows us only what Jack himself sees, brilliantly contrasting extraordinary suffering with the equally extraordinary beauty — and challenges — of ordinary life. While the cast — rounded out by Academy Award nominees William H. Macy and Joan Allen — is uniformly excellent, none stands out more than the gifted young Tremblay, who conveys Jack’s dizzying range of experience with a sensitivity and wisdom far beyond his years.

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