6-year-old Sunny Pawar carries Garth Davis’s observant, anecdotal film on his tiny back.

Lion PosterSaroo Brierly got separated from his family in India when he was just a boy and spent his whole childhood raised in Australia by a foster family. It wasn’t until he was in his 20s that he used Google to trace down a past he could hardly recall and a home he didn’t know would still be there.

What makes “Lion” special is that it shows that Saroo’s story isn’t entirely unique. It spends its first hour immersed in young Saroo’s perspective. It observantly and anecdotally illustrates the livelihood of poverty-stricken children across India. Saroo’s story feels profound not only because of the journey toward a tearful reunion, but because it devotes so much time at the eye level of this young boy. Continue reading “Lion”

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

When John Madden assembles the cast of “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” in a line as they wait at the airport, he’s only Helen Mirren away from having gathered all of British acting royalty. He’s smart then to not place them in a dopey, dreck filled romantic comedy about octogenarians living it up in India.

“Marigold Hotel” is the best kind of coming-of-age, fish-out-of-water story: one that doesn’t create a bunch of embarrassing, sitcom-y stunts and one that doesn’t turn the whole movie into a travelogue. Continue reading “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”