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“room” movie review and book giveaway

Room movie posterAs I’ve mentioned before, Room by Emma Donoghue is one of my favorite books ever.

When I heard it was being made into a movie, I was wary because it was so meaningful to me, and it’s a very hard subject to think about, let alone actually watch.

In fact, during a Q&A following a screening at Loews Lincoln Square theater, Donoghue admitted she felt the same way.

“I thought it could so easily be a terrible movie,” she said. “You could go terribly salacious or terribly sentimental.”

Donoghue had actually drafted a screenplay before the novel even got published. Luckily, she felt a kinship with fellow Dubliner — and parent — director Lenny Abrahamson, who agreed that the focus should be on the mother-child relationship rather than the crime element.

So, thanks to Oscar-worthy performances and the screenplay penned by the author, this film festival audience favorite captures the true essence and emotion of the novel and remains with you long after the credits roll.

That being said, I still think you should read the book first.

Without giving too much away, Room is the story of five-year-old Jack (Jacob Tremblay) and his Ma (Brie Larson), who have been confined in a small, enclosed space since before he was born.

Their physical surroundings are tiny but, for Jack, it’s enough. Ma is, literally, his whole world — and that’s fine with him. Like good mothers everywhere, she teaches him constantly and works hard to keep him healthy, stimulated and entertained. Imagine doing that 24/7 for five years in a space the size of a garden shed.

The trailer and other reviews have given away much of what happens next but I’m leaving it at that.

To me, this is a stunningly beautiful love story between a mother and child. It captures that raw bond more powerfully than any I’ve ever seen, and I sobbed while reading the book and while watching the movie.

If you’re a mother, you will relate in a completely visceral way.

To celebrate the release of Room, I’m giving away copies of the book to five lucky Midlife at the Oasis subscribers. (If you’re not a subscriber, first sign up for my weekly newsletter in the right sidebar of this page.)

For a chance to win, simply leave a comment below. For a second chance, tweet this:

Contest ends on November 8 at midnight Pacific time. Winners will be notified by return email. Prize can only be sent to a U.S. mailing address.

Follow Room on Facebook and Twitter, and read my interview with Emma Donoghue.


  1. Robin (Masshole Mommy) says:

    The premise of this movie sounds interesting. I’ll catch it when it makes its way to Netflix.

  2. I truly loved the book and I’m very captivated by the trailer. I feel like the woman they chose as the lead is exactly how I pictured her. That’s really awesome.
    I can’t wait. But I’m also scared because I am a wuss. At least I know how it turns out!

  3. I don’t know how I ended up never reading this book. Well, not reading the book yet as I am a lover of reading the book before seeing the movie. Off to read your insights on it before I order on Kindle

  4. I can’t wait to read and SEE “Room” because it sounds marvelous, and (as usual) if you like it I know I will!

    Thanks for the review, Lois.

  5. I’ve been seeing a lot about this movie but really want to read the book first. My biggest intrigue about this storyline is why are they confined. Is it by choice or outside circumstances.

  6. Thanks for the recommendation. Sounds like my kind of book.

  7. I missed reading this book so I will do so on your advice then see the movie. My husband has banned me from talking during a movie made from a book with statements “that wasn’t in the book”. I just won’t take him because it is hard to keep my mouth shut sometimes when you see huge transgressions.

  8. I think it is great you are giving away the book first, so much better that way!!

  9. I’ve noted before that I simply can not read this kind of book, as it is too upsetting. Around the time it came out, my book club read it and also another in a similar vein. I swore I’d never read another like them. But I did read this one and it was brillliant. Just too upsetting.

  10. I definitely want to read the book before I see the movie. The storyline sounds SO intriguing!

  11. I would love to see this movie. Sounds interesting.

  12. One of my favorite books too. going to watch the movie soon!

  13. I like reading books before I see the movie and since I now know that this is a book I think I’m going to see if I can download this on my Kindle before watching the movie.

  14. This sounds like an interesting concept. I’d have to mentally prepare myself before seeing the movie!

  15. I am a mother, and I do believe you about relating. I think this movie sounds like it’s going to be one that sticks with you long after the credits have rolled.

  16. susan smoaks says:

    i really want to see this movie, it looks great.

  17. susan smoaks says:
  18. Jill Miller says:

    Sounds like it could be a really good movie — would love to read the book first!

  19. Gary Nguyen says:

    Took my wife to watch this movie in random occasion, and the result was unexpected, she totally love it, she told me she felt so real that it was shaking she almost jumped out of her seat at some points

  20. I would love to read this book. How did I miss this?

  21. This book sounds lovely. I would love to win this.

  22. I’m ‘in’ for reading the Room! Thanks…

  23. I agree I’d much rather read the book before seeing the movie. Anxiously awaiting Girl on a Train movie since reading the book.

  24. I would love to read this book. It sounds awesome.

  25. Michael Bratek says:

    Would love to read and own a copy of this book, thank you!

  26. Amy bartley says:

    Sounds like a good book and movie. Tweeted.

  27. Gaye McGill says:

    My preference is to always read the book first and Room sounds interesting and moving.

  28. Barbara Lima says:

    I would love to read “room”. Thank you.

  29. Nicole Lancaster says:

    I would love to read “Room” I heard many good things about it. I saw the preview of Room movie and I can’t wait to see it.

  30. Kathy Grega says:

    I have been waiting and want to read Room. I would love to win a copy.

  31. I saw ROOM at the San Diego Film Festival last month. WOW what a story. Very powerful film. I’d love to read the book.

  32. I’m reading that book right now! No spoilers please – though frankly the trailer gives away a lot. Why do they do that? I love Brie Larson too.

  33. I am really looking forward to reading this book!

    Thanks for the chance to win!

    wildorchid985 AT gmail DOT com

  34. tweet–https://twitter.com/WildOrchid985/status/661969929793626112

  35. Janet Atchley says:

    Looking forwarded to reading the book when I win it. And comparing it to the movie.

  36. Breanna Pollard says:

    This looks really good and thanks for the chance!

  37. Amy Orvin says:

    I love movies like this one. It grabs onto my emotional side.

  38. Amy Orvin says:
  39. Amanda Sakovitz says:

    I’ve read the book and can’t wait to see the movie!

  40. I’d love to see this movie! It’s gotten a lot of awards and promises to be very emotional 🙂

  41. Thomas Murphy says:

    Looks like a great movie! Thanks for the giveaway.

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