Will The Kid From 'Room' Win An Oscar? Child Actor Jacob Tremblay Is Getting Awards Buzz Already
Room is one of those acclaimed films that doesn't pander for attention but rather, walks among its Oscar-bait peers quietly. The movie isn't concerned with winning trophies, but more with telling a story that emotionally connects with an audience — and it's usually those kind of performances that end up getting the most attention, anyway. Star Brie Larson, as usual, shows that she is a phenomenal actress who deserves more notice than she gets, and then there is the breakthrough performance, by Larson's young co-star, Jacob Tremblay. But could the kid in Room win an Oscar, despite being, you know, a child? He is definitely on the shortlist to be nominated — and his chances of winning are considerable.
Just think about what he has to accomplish during the course of the film. Based on the best-selling novel by Emma Donoghue, Room tells the story of a 5-year-old boy, Jack (Tremblay), and his Ma (Larson), who have been imprisoned in a small room for seven years with all they need to survive: food, water, a toilet, a small kitchen, and other basic necessities. Although Ma knows that they are prisoners of Old Nick (Sean Bridgers), Jack thinks that nothing else exists in the world but "room." The movie is intimate in scope, and it is reflected by the performances.
In the role of Jack, 9-year-old Tremblay delivers one of the most surprisingly great performances this year. The movie hinges on his character, and he essentially carries the entire film. Without him, there would be no story. On top of that, his performance made me cry. And if any actor can do that to me, then they deserve, at the very least, an Oscar nomination.
If Tremblay does get nominated for an Academy Award, he will be part of a handful of child actors who were honored by Oscar before him — it's kind of like an exclusive club. Check out some of the talented actors who were nominated for (or won) an Oscar before they could even drive.
Tatum O'Neal For Paper Moon (1973)
At the age of 10, Tatum O'Neal was the youngest person (and still is) to ever win an Academy Award for her supporting role as Addie Loggins in Paper Moon.
Justin Henry For Kramer Vs. Kramer (1979)
Justin Henry was eight, just a bit younger than Tremblay, when he was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for holding his own against acting powerhouses Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep in the classic film Kramer vs. Kramer.
Anna Paquin For The Piano (1993)
Before she was running with vampires and werewolves in True Blood and absorbing people's energy in X-Men, Anna Paquin won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in The Piano at just 11. No big deal.
Haley Joel Osment For The Sixth Sense (1999)
You may have forgotten, but Haley Joel Osment was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar at 11 years old for his role in M. Night Shyamalan's game-changing thriller, The Sixth Sense.
Abigail Breslin For Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
The Scream Queens star's breakthrough role in the quirky indie comedy, Little Miss Sunshine earned her an Oscar nod for Best Supporting Actress at the age of 10. I think it was this awesome dance routine that sealed the deal.
Quvenzhané Wallis For Beasts Of The Southern Wild (2012)
Quvenzhané Wallis was only nine when she nabbed an Oscar nod for Lead Actress in Benh Zeitlin's indie drama. It was her first movie role. Talk about beginner's luck.
My mind is blown in how children under the age of 12 can be this talented. And for the record, nearly all of these aforementioned performances made me cry.
Image: George Kraychyk/A24