Brie Larson is the star of the new film Room, a gripping account of a woman who creates a safe world for her son in spite of a harsh reality. She is a force of nature onscreen as the character known only as “Ma” in this adaptation of Emma Donoghue’s novel, and she is supported by an amazing young co-star, Jacob Tremblay. The two capture the essence of their characters in a way that is not only powerful and moving but also utterly authentic.
Larson, 26, has been lauded for her work in films like Short Term 12 and The Gambler. Her breakout role in Kong: Skull Island last year was her highest-grossing release. She is now poised to become a major player in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, reprising her role as Captain Marvel. We recently spoke with her about the movie, and how she relates to her character’s emotional journey in Room.
Larson: “Room is a film about the unsinkable bond between a mother and her child. It’s a terrifying idea that a mother would be forced to raise her child in such conditions, but the film is all about the strength of this mother and her ability to give her son hope even when she can’t find any herself.”
Lenny Abrahamson’s film succeeds due largely to the exceptional performances of Larson and Tremblay, whose scenes are some of the most wrenching in movie history. The pair’s connection feels authentic throughout, and their ability to communicate the wide range of emotions that these characters experience is nothing short of astonishing. (Statements like that get thrown around a lot this time of year, but Room truly earns them.)
The realism of this film is enhanced by the fact that it was shot in actual rooms and locations where the characters lived. The director and cinematographer found clever ways to use the limited space in order to give the film a sense of life and wonder. It’s a powerful story that has received rave reviews, and is likely to be in the Oscar conversation.
While the subject matter of Room is a dark one, it is made lighter by the fact that Jack doesn’t fully understand what their life in the shed is all about. Ma is able to provide him with an elaborate fantasy world that gives him joy and happiness.
Larson’s performance is remarkable, and she has an enormous boost for a potential Best Actress nomination in the wake of this film’s strong critical and commercial reception. She possesses the rare combination of emotional depth and physical beauty required to convey this complex and heartbreaking character. We’ll keep you posted on her progress as she vies for this prestigious award.