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WATCH: ‘Room’ Star Joan Allen in Featurette (Exclusive Video)

WATCH: 'Room' Star Joan Allen in Featurette (Exclusive Video)

A24 harbors high awards hopes for Lenny Abrahamson’s intense prison escape drama “Room,” and so they took the film to world premiere at Telluride, where it popped with audiences and critics, and then to Toronto, where it took home the coveted audience award, which often presages a strong Oscar contender. 
Finally, with “Room” (A24, October 16) actress Brie Larson, who was so fine as a conflicted social worker in “Short Term 12,” has been earning plaudits for her role as a kidnap victim called Ma who has given birth while imprisoned in a single room for seven years, and struggles to raise her child (Jacob Tremblay), who is now five, without damaging him by revealing how depressed and sad she is. Finally, she realizes that he can help them to escape.
But once they get out, what will become of them? This movie plays like an intense thriller, where the outcome (especially if you have not read the book, which novelist Emma Donoghue adapted herself), is far from certain. In movies today, unpredictability is a prize commodity.

Rising to the occasion in the second half is respected film and theater veteran Joan Allen, who struggles to help her grandson, who has to learn how to cope with a huge new world, and her severely traumatized daughter, who only now can start to feel and express all her emotions. As “Room” is shaping up as a strong awards contender, a supporting actress Oscar nomination could come Allen’s way. She’s grabbed three nominations for “Nixon,” “The Crucible,” and “The Contender,” but has never won.

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