By Adrian Ernesto Cepeda
The best-selling book Room, which won a plethora of awards, including The Hughes & Hughes Irish Novel of the Year and The Salon Book Award for Fiction, is finally coming to the big screen. That’s right, Emma Donoghue, one of our brilliant authors, is finishing the script for the big screen adaptation of her nationally acclaimed novel.
Lenny Abrahamson, director of Frank will helm the big screen version of Room. Emma told CBC books that “he’s the only one who wrote to me with a detailed description of the novel and how it would translate to the screen. It didn’t happen overnight, but I held on to his letter and thought, ‘that Irish guy really understands the book.”’
Another factor, one Donoghue admitted to The Washington Post, that played a part in their collaboration was that she and Lenny Abrahamson both “turned from academic pursuits to mass-media storytelling.” Well, that might be selling the duo a bit short as each have crafted works that do more than just entertain. Each have crafted narratives that delve deeply into the human psyche and challenge the mind. Let’s take this current collaboration of theirs as such an example.
Room tells the story of five year-old Jack who is imprisoned with his mother inside a modified garden shed. When asked if it was difficult writing her story through the eyes of a child Donoghue told The Guardian, “I knew that by sticking to the child’s-eye perspective there’d be nothing voyeuristic about it. Ma has managed to keep Jack almost oblivious to the sexual side of things – the creaking bed makes him edgy, but lots of other things, green beans, for instance, make him edgier still. I knew the chills would be justified. The book has some really serious questions to ask.” Their work might reach a mass audience, but it doesn’t take away the inherent art behind it all.
Actress Brie Larson who was tapped by Donoghue to play the mother in the movie version of Room, talked about the experience of bringing the character Ma to life as she explained to InStyle Magazine, “We built the room and then we spent a month in it. It was really a interesting and bizarre experience. I really loved it!” With such an environment it will be truly exciting to see how the experience is portrayed on the big screen.