'Room' finds uplifting message in distressing tale of captivity

Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:28pm EDT
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By Piya Sinha-Roy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - After exploring drug addiction, depression and suicide in his previous films, Irish director Lenny Abrahamson found his most "uplifting" movie in "Room," a harrowing tale of a young woman held hostage for seven years in her neighbor's garden shed.

Abrahamson, known for independent films such as "Frank," "Garage" and "Adam & Paul," told Reuters that "Room," a story about a kidnapped young woman and her young son born in captivity, was a "journey from darkness into light."

"If you can take a situation as dark as that and show how it's possible for people to still come through it, survive, thrive, then the film becomes a celebration of those deep relationships we have with each other," he said.

A24's "Room," based on Emma Donoghue's novel of the same name and out in U.S. theaters on Friday, explores the intense relationship between Ma (Brie Larson) and five-year-old Jack (Jacob Tremblay) as they co-exist in 'Room.'

Jack, who was born in 'Room', knows nothing outside of it until he slowly learns of the world beyond the four walls that contain him through storybooks that their captor brings him.

"To have this little boy who could step into the world for the first time with a pretty nice vocabulary and be able to explain to us what the world looks like to him was such a beautiful glimpse that I hadn't seen," Larson said.

Critics have received the film well, singling out young star Tremblay, who was aged 7 during filming and had to perform raw emotional scenes with Larson.

"It turns out he's a real actor," the director said.   Continued...

Director Lenny Abrahamson attends a news conference to promote the film Room at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF ) in Toronto, September 14, 2015.    REUTERS/Fred Thornhill