Lion was one of my favorite movies of the year. It made me want to travel, cry, write, and live. Dev Patel carries an incredibly vibrant performance of the true story of Saroo Brierley, who was lost as a child and then attempts to find his family in his 20’s. Pair that with grand sweeping landscapes and the incredibly endearing Sunny Pawar, who shines despite the grit of 1980’s slums of India, and it had everything I could have wanted in a hauntingly true film.
Lion is human interest at its heart, with the first half of the movie sending the audience on winding train journey along with young Saroo, who has just gotten lost from his family. We follow him through the streets of Calcutta and into an orphanage up until his adoption by a picture perfect Australian couple.
We then jump ahead to older Saroo, moving away from home and deciding that now that the technology is there, he will try to find his family and hometown.
This movie stuck with me days after leaving the theater and only deepened the lifelong crush I have been harboring on Dev Patel (which started in Slumdog and escalated in The Newsroom). I am in general pretty lukewarm on Nicole Kidman, but this is her at her best, and her maternal interactions seemed authentic without being romanticized. All in all, this was near perfect to me, and somehow managed to avoid landmine clichés that could have cheapened this standout of 2016. 9.5/10
Bonus: Photo of Sunny Pawar and Dev Patel because HOW CUTE IS THIS