"Room," Lenny Abrahamson's intense drama starring Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay as kidnap victims, opened Friday to rave reviews (Read excerpts below.) This A24 release merits 94% freshness at Rotten Tomatoes, one of the highest scores of the year. That critical acceptance should boost its profile of with Oscar voters.
Critics are lavishing praise on the performances of Larson and Tremblay as a young mother kidnapped as a teenager and her five-year-old son who has never known life out of captivity. They also admire Abrahamson's strong direction of the film, adapted by Emma Donoghue from her 2010 novel of the same name. According to our official Gold Derby odds, Larson is the frontrunner to win Best Actress for her gritty role and Donoghue is likely to reap a bid as well.
According to our Oscar experts — 20 top Hollywood journalists who cover this beat for major media including Variety, Yahoo, USA Today, and Huffington Post — "Room" is all but certain to be a Best Picture nominee.
One of our Oscar Experts — Variety's Jenelle Riley — is predicting it'll win the top prize.
Click on the chart to the right to see our up-to-date Oscar odds and rankings. As our experts update their predicitons in the coming days, look for these numbers to get even better for "Room," based on the reception of key critics such as those noted below.
Justin Chang, Variety
"It’s a testament to the story’s underlying integrity that, even when deprived of some of the elements that made Emma Donoghue’s 2010 book so gripping, director Lenny Abrahamson’s inevitably telescoped but beautifully handled adaptation retains considerable emotional impact as it morphs from a taut survival thriller into a hauntingly conflicted drama of loss, mourning and gradual reawakening. With enough critical favor (especially for Brie Larson’s superb lead performance), plus a savvy marketing campaign that emphasizes the story’s killer hook, A24 might just have the call-your-mom-sobbing-afterward movie of 2015 on its hands."
Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
"The film's accomplishment is its rare ability to give full weight to both sides of the emotional equation as it tells the story of a young woman imprisoned for years in a single room in a tiny shed and the young son who was born to her there and knows no other world. Directed by Ireland's Lenny Abrahamson with uncanny sensitivity and an intuitive sense of what this situation would be like and transcendently acted by Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay, 'Room' is several things by turn: creepy, frightening, exhilarating and then frightening and exhilarating all over again."
Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly
"'Room' is more than the title of one of the year’s most powerful movies — it’s a state of mind that’s unbearably tense and as claustrophobic as a straitjacket."
Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter
"Real credit is due the lead actors, with Larson expanding beyond the already considerable range she’s previously shown with an exceedingly dimensional performance in a role that calls for running the gamut, and Tremblay always convincing without ever becoming cloying."
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Photo Credit: Caitlin Cronenberg/A24