1. All hail Sunny Pawar
As is regularly said, child acting is a tough gig but Sunny gives a charismatic and moving performance that gives the film its true heartbeat. The film rests on his shoulders and he never falters. Hoorah.
2. Some wigs just never feel right
Nicole Kidman's first two wigs distract from her performance and the film...
3. ...but she delivers one of her best performances
I'll always be in awe of Nicole but it is rare that she delivers performances showcasing the best of her talents, and she does wonders her. Often it feels the film shifts its focus to her character in an inorganic way but the rewards are moments of beauty, where the movie star disappears and we're watching a person.
4. What a brave film
Half the film is in a foreign-language where there are no 'stars'. There's no easy cultural appropriation of Indian culture. There are no heroes or villains, characters are people. This is rare with a high-profile film aimed at a wide audience.
5. Garth Davis
I'll be watching his career excitedly.
6. India is a beautiful country
An obvious thought. I must try my best to visit soon!
7. Diversity in film
I was lucky enough to go to an event where Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman spoke about this film and their career, the most striking aspect of this conversation of their mutual desire for diversified audiences and stories on screen. Both actors have done great work to support this, but it is Dev that should be especially celebrated as the stories that he is telling of India is truly significant in changing audience (and therefore studio) minds about cultures different to their own. I am a fan of things such as The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel but think there must be integrity to portrayals of 'exotic' locations for western audiences.
I have mentioned this before, but I think it's important that films show the many ways a family can exist. All families, however they came together, are complicated and special.
9. How will it perform with Oscar?
After its surprise DGA nomination, Lion is likely to be a large nominee but perhaps will go home empty handed...which would be a shame if it wasn't competing against some of cinemas great films: La La Land and Moonlight.
10. Distribution of films competing for Oscars
Yesterday I saw two films (this and Jackie) and today I'll be seeing Moonlight by the Sea. I wish their releases were spread out so I could enjoy the wealth of quality outside of Oscar time.