I know what brilliant, gripping, well-crafted cinema feels like, and I’ve come to recognize the strategy of selling a bag of emotional goods to a particular audience, and I’m telling you like I’ve never told anyone in my life that Lenny Abrahamson and Emma Donoghue‘s Room (A24, 10.16) has been way over-praised by invested women and feminized critics, mainly because it pushes certain maternal buttons.
That’s the only reason it has won the Grolsch People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival — the women’s vote pushed it through.
Key passage from my TIFF review: “Room is agony. The story sucks and the emotional currents, while strong, just fret and shudder and play out in a vacuum. It’s a film about confinement, confinement and more confinement. Okay, with a nicely delivered spiritual uplift moment at the very end. But the feeling of physical and psychological entrapment is nothing short of lethal. I for one felt like a dog in an airless box.”
Brie Larson might land a Best Actress nomination, okay, but I will take $100 bets right now against anyone who says it’ll be Best Picture-nominated. Update: I’ve thought about this a bit more and have decided against taking bets. Bizarre as this seems, it’ll probably be nominated — a notion I find extremely depressing. I feel awful about this. A movie I know is very unpleasant to sit through is being embraced big-time.