‘Room’ Wins People’s Choice At TIFF

The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) has wrapped up for another year with emotional kidnapping story ‘Room’ winning the peoples choice award.

Brie Larson stars in 'Room'
Brie Larson stars in ‘Room’

Starring Brie Larson, William H. Macy and youngster Jacob Trembley ‘Room’ is an adaptation of the 2010 best-selling novel by Irish-born but Canada residing author Emma Donoghue . It tells the tale of Jack and Ma, a son and his mother trapped in a windowless prison by Jack’s father. Jack has only ever known his mother and the degradation they suffer. She tries her best to parent him with some sort of normality in a truly heartbreaking tale that sees them escape and face another danger: the real world.

Directed by Lenny Abrahamson, whose last feature was 2014’s ‘Frank’ starring Michael Fassbender, the film was voted the best on show by audience members, an honour that has previously gone to Oscar winning and nominated films such as ’12 Years A Slave’ and ‘The Imitation Game’. Brie Larson in particular is being praised for her performance. It’s quite a turn for her, previously known for her slightly more comedic material on projects like ‘The United States of Tara’. Although her talent for the dramatic was also evident on that amazing underrated series. Abrahamson thanked Donoghue, noting that the movie was only a success because her “beautiful novel started everything.”

Donoghue originally got the idea for the story after discovering a terrifying real-life situation, reading about the case of Josef Fritzl, who imprisoned and raped his daughter for 24 years in a basement in Austria. This resulted in seven children, three of which lived with their mother in captivity.

Credit: craveonline.com
Credit: craveonline.com

The filmmakers chose to distance themselves from the true events however saying in a press conference that they wanted the movie to be a mother/son love story rather than a horror/crime thriller film.

‘Room’ beat out strong contenders to claim the prize at what was the 40th annual running of the festival, beating out: Johnny Depp’s return to form in ‘Black Mass’, Eddie Redmayne’s ‘The Danish Girl’, Ridley Scott’s latest ‘The Martian’, and Jake Gyllenhaal’s new dark comedy ‘Demolition’.

Other award winners included ‘Winter On Fire’, a documentary about the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, and ‘Hurt’, which won the inaugural Toronto Platform Prize, documenting the life of  iconic Canadian runner Steve Fonyo.

TIFF is usually a good indication of what might happen come Oscar time so it won’t be a surprise to see ‘Room’ making headlines again this year, along with performers from some of the other films too.