The most terrifying movie of the season does not involve aliens, ghouls or men in hooded masks. It is the movie Room, from Emma Donoghue's screenplay based on her best-selling novel, showing moments of tender love between a mother and young son in a small cell-like shed with only a skylight to the outside: the claustrophobia is contagious. Played to perfection by Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay, under Lenny Abrahamson's excellent direction, the mother and son, form a bond essential to their survival. The acting is formidable, and will be noted during award season. Last weekend, Room won the Hamptons International Film Festival Audience Award for Narrative Feature.
On a recent Wednesday night, the stars attended a special screening at the Crosby Street Hotel. At 9, Jacob Tremblay has a grownup demeanor, greeting everyone with a handshake, and taking in the much-deserved praise for his work. His mother Christina stood nearby casting a watchful eye. They'd come from Vancouver, and Jacob was working the next day, filming The Book of Henry in White Plains. He loves the work, she said of the veteran of Smurf 2 and Before I Wake, and in Canada they do not penalize you for missing school. Jacob told me sometimes memorizing his lines is hard.
Brie Larson spoke to her fans nearby. Currently filming Kong: Skull Island, Larson was most memorable for me in Short Term 12 and Rampart. After awhile, Jacob approached his screen mom to say, "I'm leaving now." They hugged. Maybe it was the residue emotion from this powerhouse film, but it was hard to keep from flashing back to Room.
A version of this post also appears on Gossip Central.