How the Team Behind 'Room' Made the Year's Most Unexpectedly Affirming Film

It's a film that some said couldn't be made — or, at least, couldn't be made well, couldn't be made right.

Yet Lenny Abrahamson's "Room," his feature film version of author Emma Donoghue's bestseller of the same name, manages to capture the unique tone and spirit of the beloved novel while entering its complex story from a much more accessible narrative point. The result is one of the most affirming films of 2015, a small story writ large with an emotional wallop that's hard to shake.

The film follows awards season darling Brie Larson as "Ma," the single-syllabled leading lady whose entire world consists of her young son Jack (breakout star Jacob Tremblay), the four-walled shed ("Room") they live inside and the man who holds them captive there. While Donoghue's book was told from Jack's perspective — an evocative literary choice, as Jack has only ever lived in Room and has no understanding of the outside world — Abrahamson's feature takes a wider (and often deeper) look at the story, refusing to limit it to contained perspectives.

The result is a film that still finds its soul in Jack's story, but one that is also better able to share things from Ma's point of view and, later, from her own mother's (played by a beautifully undone Joan Allen) vantage point. As the family struggles to reconnect and heal, "Room" gracefully charts their journey, eschewing artifice and instead tapping into hard-won emotion. It's a tearjerker for sure, but it earns all those sobs, and much more.

Below, the team behind "Room" joins Indiewire and Time Warner Cable's Awards Season Spotlight to share some of their fondest memories of on-set bonding, the optimism the runs through the whole film, how they made the right environment for the feature and...wigs?

Photo credit: Daniel Bergeron


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