Translating a well-crafted and popular novel to a suspenseful, absorbing film challenges the best writers and directors. Emma Donoghue and Lenny Abrahamson respectively show how to succeed flawlessly in that endeavor with "Room." Donoghue began adapting her 2010 novel of that name, a book shortlisted for the prestigious Man Booker award, even before it was published.
English professor Jim Bennett has a dual personality. By day, he lectures university students in an animated way on the modern novel. By night, he debases himself and everything he professes to believe by repeatedly wagering every dollar he has and all he can borrow, up to a quarter million, until he's stripped bare. He embraces peril and courts disaster.
After a summer of good movies about boys, the autumn offers a fine film about girls and women. "Short Term 12" is a serious movie, blessedly unsentimental and not fodder for an "Afternoon Special" on television.
The main characters in "The Spectacular Now" say "Cheers!" a lot as they bump bottles, but they are not very cheerful. Sutter Keely is a teenage boy alcoholic, who lives in the now. Aimee is a teenage girl, who has been getting by on hard work, sci fi, and dreams of a college education.