Oscars Preview: 30 Movies to Watch Before the Nominations Come Out!

14 of 31

Image via Weinstein Company


What it’s about:

Lion follows the true story of Saroo Brierly. As a child, Saroo was separated from his family on a train. When he was five, he didn’t know his address, couldn’t read, and wasn’t able to even remember his own last name. After living on the streets of Calcutta for several weeks, he was eventually sent to an agency and adopted by a couple in Australia. But when Saroo grew up, his curiosity about his birth family grew, and with the advent of technology he decided to try to find them. With his few memories and with Google Earth, he set out to find the place he once called home.

Major Players:

Director Garth Davis has made his feature film debut with Lion, with a script written by Luke Davies. The film stars Dev Patel, who starred in 2008’s Slumdog Millionaire, the Best Picture winner for which Patel was somewhat inexplicably not nominated. Additionally, newcomer Sunny Pawar plays the five-year-old Saroo, two-time nominee Rooney Mara plays Lucy, and 2003 Best Actress winner Nicole Kidman plays Saroo’s adoptive mother Sue.

What the Critics are Saying:

With an 83% on Rotten Tomatoes, the top publications are giving Lion extremely high praise, noting the tear-jerking nature of the movie. A.O. Scott of the New York Times writes, “If you have ever been a child, raised a child, lost a child or met a child — or any of the above with respect to a mother — this movie will wreck you.” David Sims of The Atlantic adds to the conversation, noting that “The film’s finale might feel a tad familiar, but Lion is ultimately an excellent example of its type—a resonant true story told, not with manipulative cliches, but with refreshing confidence.”

Possible Nominations:

Best Picture, Best Director (Davis), Best Adapted Screenplay (Davies), Supporting Actor (Patel), Supporting Actress (Kidman), and Cinematography (Greig Fraser) are all likely guesses, but there is also a significant amount of buzz that eight-year-old Sunny Pawar may be nominated for Leading Actor.