The captivating thriller “Room” won over audiences at the Toronto International Film Festival, recently earning the People’s Choice Award. The movie, based on Irish novelist Emma Donoghue’s best-selling novel, also tugged at the audience’s heart strings at Tuesday’s Los Angeles premiere at the Pacific Design Center.
Dublin native Lenny Abrahamson knew he needed more than just a common cultural background to convince Donoghue he could transform her novel into a film. Abrahamson wrote the screenwriter a ten-page pitch, detailing his cinematic approach.
“He was just so full of crazy enthusiasm for the book, and yet [he had] a confidence about how he could translate it into cinema,” Donoghue said. “It was an irresistible letter. And I think anyone who wants to buy rights to a book should try this approach.”
Filming in a confined space is a unique experience for any actor, especially for nine-year-old Jacob Tremblay’s breakout performance. Brie Larson prepared for her role by staying in her home for a month, but she doesn’t think much of that experience.
“Have you ever just hung out at home for a while and gotten delivery? It’s not that big of a deal,” Larson said. “It wasn’t that giant of a leap for me to see what it was like to just sit in quiet and read.”
After debuting at the Telluride Film Festival and winning in Toronto, “Room” has become an awards season player. If the movie is nominated for best picture, it will be the second film in the last decade to have no major adult male actor role.
“It’s kind of bizarre that we have this very gender skewed movie industry when half of the people in the world are women,” Abrahamson said.
After the screening, the teary-eyed audience headed to West Hollywood’s Zinque. Tremblay’s entrance wowed guests at the crowded after party. Attendees enjoyed cheese and charcuterie under the restaurant’s twinkling lights.