I am usually a harsh critic of movies based on books, especially ones that I have enjoyed. With so many books being made into movies, it is getting harder and harder to avoid them. It had been several years since I read Room by Emma Donoghue so that may have also been a factor in my willingness to see the movie version.
I looked back at my review when I read Room and it seemed a little vague, but I do know that story of five-year-old Jack and his mother confined to a garden shed for years touched and has stayed with me for years. Jack has never known the world outside Room and Ma has done her best to both protect him and teach him what he needs to know. Eventually, she makes the risky decision to have Jack escape. After a tense scene, Jack is able to get away and eventually they rescue Ma which begins the second half of the story – survival outside of Room. For Ma that is learning how to survive the trauma of what she has been through and for Jack it is a to adjusting to a much bigger world than he has ever known.
The author was also the screenwriter, which I think helped this novel come to life on the big screen in such a powerful way. All the tense and touching elements of the book were realized in the movie.
Brie Larson does an amazing job playing Ma/Joy Newsom and the actor, Jacob Tremblay, cast as Jack was incredible. I want to know more about how they got him to portray this character so perfectly.
This is definitely not a feel good movie, but it is wonderfully done and touches on so many aspects of what happens when people are exposed to traumatic events. I also thought that the movie was true to the book and brought it to life in the way I imagined it.
I am now excited to see Colm Toibin’s Brooklyn on the big screen. What book to movie adaptations have you enjoyed?
Side note: I remember being frustrated that the book did not disclose where the story took place (I need to mentally set things in a location) and had it in my mind that it was somewhere in the Midwest or more specifically, Ohio. I was on the look out for any clues in the movie and happily noted that Ohio was the kidnapper’s license plate.
Click here to read my husband’s superior review of the movie.