Best Picture Nominee -- Lion

We are moving ever closer to the Academy Awards, when one of nine Best Picture Nominees will take the crown. Today, I continue my look at the contenders with a true life story of finding home.

Starring: Nicole Kidman, Dev Patel, Rooney Mara, and David Wenham
Director: Garth Davis
Total Nomination: Six
Nominated For: Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Patel), Best Supporting Actress (Kidman), Best Adapted Screenplay (Luke Davies), Best Cinematography, and Best Original Score
About: Of the nine films nominated for Best Picture, "Lion" is probably the most under the radar entry. It is a film set in Australia and India, and it was a foreign co-production that is just making the rounds in the United States thanks to a wider release post Oscar nominations. It is a film based on a true story, and it tells the powerful story of a young Indian boy separated from his family, adopted by a couple in Australia, and driven to find his birth family as an adult. It features some rich performances, including from Patel and Kidman, both of whom earned acting nominations. "Lion" is a powerful and beautiful film, but the question is whether it will take home any awards. I enjoyed the film, and I would recommend it to those looking for a beautiful story, but I'd be surprised if it won any awards on February 26. All the nominations are well earned, and with six total nominations it has more than some other Best Picture contenders. But none of the nominees are favorites in their categories. I could see "Lion" getting one of the technical awards, such as cinematography or score, but even that feels like a stretch. Personally, I think "La La Land" wins for score and some of the other Best Picture nominees are more likely in the cinematography category. In adapted screenplay, I think "Moonlight" is more likely to win, and in the acting categories Patel and Kidman are a stretch to win, too. In the end, "Lion," like so many films in previous years, will likely end up as a beautiful film with multiple nominations and no hardware come award night.
Rating: PG-13 for thematic material and some sensuality.
Verdict: Four stars out of four.
Where to See It: "Lion" is now playing in theaters nationwide.


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