Have you read Emma Donoghue’s Room? I reviewed the book a few years ago – click here to read that post. I met Emma Donoghue. Heard her speak at an event at my alma mater, Western University. She was asked to talk for 7 minutes about creativity. She ended up talking about 7 ways writing is like sex. Delightful. Funny. So smart, so charming, really, really nice. And as a reader I kept thinking to myself, oh my God, you’re the one who came up with that story that f-cked me up for weeks afterwards, still f-cks me up now, when I think about it.
If you haven’t read Room, you should. But also be warned that it’s not easy. It’s not enjoyable. But a book’s value isn’t necessarily attached to enjoyment, is it? When you read it, have a light book – or a horny book – on standby. Because you’re going to need it afterwards. Maybe even during.
To me, Room is about love and children and choices. Especially choices. I write about those choices in my review. The choice that Ma made for Jack. The choices that Ma has to continue to make because she chose Jack. You can do that in a book. Can you do that in a movie?
The first trailer for Room starring Brie Larson as Ma has been released. The film will be playing the festival circuit in a few weeks and is generating some awards buzz. A lot of what we’re seeing here deals with the “after”. And I wonder if that’s a marketing decision because, sh-t, if you spend most of the two minutes showing the “before”, well, I’m not sure anyone’s going to feel particularly enthused about going to see the movie.
“Love knows no boundaries” is what we’re being sold. And that’s definitely part of it, for sure. But if you’ve read Room, you know that it’s much more nuanced than that. Jack’s transition from Room to the World, his attachment to Room, as his only reality, his “home”, his “comfort”, takes us back to the point about choice and how those choices inform our identities. Can’t wait to see if they can cover all this in a film. Although I can do without Jack constantly talking about “having some”. Or “wanting some”. And getting “lots and lots” of it. Maybe I’m the only one who was affected by that language.