This is Part Nine of my 2017 Oscar Watch where I watch all of the Best Picture nominees in the weeks running up to the Academy Awards. For other entries, click here:
- “Hell or High Water”
- “Manchester by the Sea”
- “La La Land”
- “Hacksaw Ridge”
- “Hidden Figures”
For all of my 2017 Academy Awards picks, click here.
“Lion” is a beautiful portrayal of an extraordinary true-to-life tragedy. Separated from his family at a young age, Saroo as played by Dev Patel, decides to journey from his adopted family in Australia to find his biological relatives in India.
The plot is simplistic yet filled with opportunities for dramatic power. Thankfully, “Lion” delivers on nearly all of these moments. Dev Patel gives a powerful performance as Saroo by exuding a mix of weakness, anger, and power. Oddly enough, only Nicole Kidman is nominated as Saroo’s adoptive mother, Sue Brierley. Kidman is a strong, well-known quantity in terms of acting, but it is Patel that drives this movie towards its engrossing conclusion.
Aside from the central plot, Saroo must also deal with his unhinged adopted brother, a slipping love interest, and Sue as she struggles to maintain the love of her two adopted sons. The drama at play here is realistic, heart wrenching, and supported by some of the strongest writing this Oscar season. If there is one Best Picture movie that vies for and, ultimately, deserves your tears, it is this one.
Aside from the plot, the direction and musical score of “Lion” are captivating. Director Garth Davis and an evocative, minimalist score effortlessly capture the sadness and triumph of Saroo’s story.
Hear Me Roar
“Lion” is easily one of the best films this year and, if not for “Moonlight” or “La La Land,” this could have easily won the award for Best Picture. “Lion” is a beautiful film that delves into the sadness of losing your identity, but it also roars with hope.