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Sunday, October 23, 2016

Lion (2016)

A child (Sunny Pawar) from a small village in India gets separated from his older brother (Abhishek Bharate) and accidentally finds himself on a train to Calcutta. Unable to identify where he is from or who his family is, he lives on the streets of Calcutta for awhile before being put in an orphanage. He is eventually adopted by an Australian couple (Nicole Kidman, David Wenham). But when he grows into a young man (Dev Patel, SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE), he yearns for the family he lost. Based on a true story and directed by Garth Davis in his feature film directorial debut. The first part of the film is astonishing with some of the raw power of early De Sica. When we get to the section where Patel takes over, it becomes more conventional and not as interesting. My interest shifted away from Patel and toward Kidman's mother and Divian Ladwa as his troubled adopted brother. The film eventually builds to an emotional climax where I felt slightly manipulated and while the audience around me sobbed, I didn't cry. But damn if the film didn't have an ace up its sleeve saved up for the very end and it got me too. Bring kleenex, tears will be shed. Kidman has a good shot at a supporting actress nomination. With Rooney Mara and Priyanka Bose.

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