Lion is a 2016 drama film directed by Garth Davis (in his feature debut) and written by Luke Davies, based on the non-fiction book A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley with Larry Buttrose. The film stars Dev Patel, Rooney Mara, David Wenham and Nicole Kidman.
The film, which had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 10, 2016, was a limited release on November 25, 2016. This is by The Weinstein Company before opening wide on January 6, 2017. It was released in Australia on January 19, 2017 and in the United Kingdom on January 20, 2017. It received six Oscar nominations at the 89th Academy Awards. It included Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Patel), Best Supporting Actress (Kidman) and Best Adapted Screenplay. It also received five nominations at the 70th British Academy Film Awards, winning two for Best Supporting Actor (Patel) and Best Adapted Screenplay.
Lion is based on Saroo Brierley’s memoir A Long Way Home.
While writing the screenplay, Screenwriter Luke Davies acknowledged the challenges of adapting a book primarily about an online search. He said It was finding the right balance of the big cinema no-no which is that screens on screens is not good. Yet we felt very strongly that our situation was quite different from the usual procedural crime drama TV model. There are a whole bunch of actors that are crammed with exposition-heavy dialogue pointing at computer screens. We felt that we were a million miles away from that. It would find wholeness with the reunification with the lost mother and to find out who you are. In October 2014, Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman were cast in the film for the lead roles, although they were nominated in supporting categories. In January 2015, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Priyanka Bose, Tannishtha Chatterjee, and Deepti Naval joined the cast. In April 2015, Rooney Mara, David Wenham, and Divian Ladwa also joined the cast. Pallavi Sharda also joined the film’s cast to play Saroo’s friend. Hauschka and Dustin O’Halloran composed the film’s score.
Lion is a true story that is told in two parts and filmed across two continents.
Five year-old Saroo is a ragamuffin sidekick to his older brother Guddo, two poor boys who support their family by stealing coal and scavenging trains in their West Bengal village. They become separated one night and Saroo finds himself alone on a train heading to the other side of India. He he joins hordes of homeless children who must fend off predators while begging to survive. Eventually he is placed in a crowded orphanage, then adopted by two big-hearted and childless Tasmanians, Sue (Nicole Kidman) and John (David Wenham). Twenty years on, Saroo (Dev Patel) begins to have memory flashbacks of his native land. As they increase in intensity, he becomes obsessed with finding his family. With some luck and Google maps, the story comes full circle.