Audiences love “Room”: after nabbing the Grolsch People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival, the awards contender continued its winning streak at the 37th Aspen Filmfest, where it received one of two balloted audience awards. (The other, for documentary feature, went to director Jason Zeldes’ “Romeo Is Bleeding,” which follows a group of young people in violence-plagued Richmond, Calif. as they put on a production of “Romeo and Juliet.”)
Strength with audiences is often the key to staying power in the prolonged Oscar race, and the back-to-back victories suggest that “Room” (A24, in theaters Oct. 16) has the potential to become a breakout hit. The film, adapted by Emma Donoghue from her bestselling 2010 novel, is directed by Lenny Abrahamson (“Frank”) and features rising star Brie Larson and young Jacob Tremblay. All are strong early contenders, especially Larson (“Short Term 12”) for Best Actress; A24 will campaign for the eight-year-old Tremblay as Best Actor.