"Room," a small intimate drama about a young woman's life in captivity with her son, has won the coveted Grolsch People's Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival.
The film, which stars Brie Larson and Vancouver native Jacob Tremblay, is based on Canadian author Emma Donoghue's novel of the same name, and was partly filmed in Toronto. "Room" not only chronicles these two characters' lives in confinement, but also takes a look at what happens once they are rescued and rejoin society.
The TIFF People's Choice Award has a celebrated history, as several Oscar winners or nominees received this audience prize after screening in Toronto.
The Lenny Abrahamson-directed film also stars Joan Allen and William H. Macy, and received a standing ovation at the festival. According to its studio distributor A24 Films, actor Gerard Butler attended a screening and was spotted weeping inside.
Five movies have won the audience-chosen trophy before going on to win the Oscar for best picture, including 2008's "Slumdog Millionaire," 2013's "12 Years a Slave," 2010's "The King's Speech," 1999's "American Beauty" and 1981's "Chariots of Fire."
The title serves as an awards-season bellwether.
Other recipients include 2009's "Precious," 2012's "Silver Linings Playbook" and 2014's "The Imitation Game," which each went on to receive multiple Oscar nominations, including one for Best Picture.
According to The Wrap, every film that publicly screens at TIFF is eligible for the prize, save for short films and revivals.
Larson — whose portrayal of Joy and "Ma" in "Room" is already being hailed as one of the top performances of the year — was quick to express her gratitude to TIFF on social media.
@cameron_tiff You are the absolute best. Thanks for helming such a fun, movie-loving festival. It was great watching it live this morning😎💖— Brie Larson (@brielarson) September 20, 2015
"Room" will play at the Vancouver International Film Festival on Sept. 28, and opens in theatres everywhere on Oct. 16.
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