Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Room: My take on the book before it hits your movie screen: Ode to Joy [trailer]



A couple of months back, when the first trailer for Room landed, I told you I wasn’t quite ready to face the book. As the mother of a son—albeit a happy, healthy and grown up one—I just couldn’t face it. A friend on Twitter suggested Room, about a mother and her son imprisoned in a garden shed, was such a quick and good read, I decided I should give it a go. The film starring Brie Larson as Ma and Jacob Tremblay as the remarkable five year old Jack screened at TIFF this week and is slated to come out October 16th with Larson being talked about as being an Oscar contender. 
Im not quite finished but so far the book by Emma Donoghue about a young woman imprisoned in a 12X12 foot garden shed, raising the son she has with her captor, is anything but depressing. Filled with tension at times, heartbreaking at others, it's mostly an ode to Joy (Mas name which we dont learn in the novel), a story about grit, and determination, the will, not just to live, but to live the best life that one can. 
She is not a perfect mother, but she muddles through and mostly makes the best of a horrifying situation. In the early days she screamed and banged on the door. She dug at the floor seeking a way out. She must have sobbed her eyes out; she has a broken wrist from fighting her captor. When we meet Joy shes long past that, shes sometimes numb with the stultifying reality of her imprisonment. There are days Jack tells us—the story is told from Jack’s perspective—she is Gone, when all she can do is lie on the bed, and disappear inside her head. 

Mostly they live by a schedule that strives for normalcy and includes Phys Ed and Laundry Day and Sunday Treats. They read the same few books over and over, and while their captor has given them an old TV set with some old rabbit ears, Ma is strict about how much time they watch it. She tells Jack it will rot his brains out. And in fact, he’s told everything he sees on that TV is fake, that their life is real, everything else is not. Its miraculous, really, to think about the toys that Jack, a bright and brainy little boy, can create out of the nothing that they have. The world Ma creates, shielding Jack as best she can about the reality of their situation, is miraculous too. Ill finish the book today and unless Donoghue suddenly veers off the mark, Id give the book four breaths of fresh air.  Now I cant wait to see the movie, to see how Jack adapts to the outside world, as overwhelming and beautiful a place as it can be. Have you read Room yet? Plenty of time: Room, which also stars Joan Allen and William H. Macy, and was scripted by the author herself, comes out October 16th here in the states, January 29th in the UK.

Here’s the newest trailer. I’ll be putting it in the Featured Trailer spot up there on the left.

Well, did it tear your heart out?





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