This past Thursday night my husband and I went to see “Lion”.
I had a moderate interest in the film since December but hadn’t gotten around to seeing it yet. When it was nominated for Best Picture it became a must see for me. After seeing it I have to see that it really is a must see for anybody who likes quality film making. Coming out of the film I told my husband that it was my favorite of the eight Best Picture nominees I had seen up to that point, and that was saying something because I thought that “Moonlight” and “Manchester by the Sea” were both truly wonderful films.
I was surprised by a couple of things about the movie. The first thing I was surprised about was that it was based a true story. The second thing is that the film was told linearly, based on the previews I really thought it was going to be told in flashbacks.
In terms of the first surprise I wish they hadn’t revealed it was based on a true story until the very end, it did take away some of the suspense. But in terms of the second surprise I am glad it wasn’t told in flashback because I think you have more investment in the story seeing it from start to finish rather than starting at the end and going back to the beginning. I thought the writing was great and the direction was top notch. In many ways I found the film similar to 2008’s “Slumdog Millionaire” but deeper.
Dev Patel is the best he’s ever been in this movie. He was good in “Slumdog Millionaire” and “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” but here he creates a completely different character with far more depth than I’ve seen from him before. He really gives an outstanding performance and he definitely deserves his Oscar nomination.
Throughout the 1990’s I wasn’t a Nicole Kidman fan but she won be over with 2001’s “Moulin Rouge” and she is also at her very best here. While is a mom role but she is given the chance to do more than Rachel Griffiths is in “Hacksaw Ridge” and she takes full advantage of every second she has on screen. She also very much deserves her Oscar nomination (in her case it’s number four).
Rooney Mara is also good but I do feel like her character was pretty thinly written. As good as Patel and Kidman are you can’t get to their outstanding performances without the amazing work of Sunny Pawar. This young man does a great job as the younger version of Patel’s character. His work in the first half of the film really sets everything up in the second half.
I cried several times during this film. I highly, highly recommend it for anybody who is a fan of Patel, Kidman or excellent film making.
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Here is a description:
Justin Gomez and his sister, Terri, have never been close. Separated by nine years and distant in adulthood, Justin and Terri have little in common, except for the love of her three children. In the days before they embark on a road trip to visit the father that once abandoned them and their now deceased mother, both Terri and Justin are dealing with unexpected changes in their lives. Justin surprisingly realizes he might want more than a series of one night stands after a first date goes unexpectedly well. After a lifetime of being a strong type A personality, Terri is forced to confront the reality of the end of her marriage. As they hit the road, with Terri’s children in tow, they find themselves forced to rely on and confide in each other following a devastating event. Confronted with memories from the past and challenges from the present, Terri and Justin must dig deep and unearth the truth about themselves and their parents in order to build a new family based on their love for each other.