“Lion” – (Capsule Film Review)

By Andrew Buckner

Rating: ****1/2 out of *****.

Lion (2016) is a harrowing, haunting, inspiring and undeniably human experience; an achingly beautiful masterpiece. This is even if the last hour cannot compete with the sheer emotional resonance and filmmaking perfection of the first. Director Garth Davis’ direction is as honest and intimate as Saroo Brierley’s autobiographical source material, A Long Way Home (2013), demands the work to be. Additionally, the lead performances, as well as Luke Davies’ academy-award nominated screenplay, are all spellbinding. In turn, Davis has delivered a debut feature that is as much a sentimental journey as the riveting plot, which concerns a young man trying to find his lost family and his way back to his childhood home after twenty-five years, is itself. The cinematography by Greg Fraser as well as the expected, though nonetheless rousing, climax of the endeavor are similarly striking, triumphant and full of life. Such results in a must-see; undoubtedly one of the best cinematic works of 2016. (PG-13) 118 minutes. Starring: Dev Patel, Rooney Mara, David Wenham, Nicole Kidman.