There wasn’t a dry eye at the Princess of Wales Theatre last night following the Toronto premiere of Lion, one of Weinstein Co.’s many blue chips heading into awards season. Based on Saroo Brierley’s memoir, the movie tells the true story of how the author was separated from his mother at the age of five, lost on a freight train and winding up 1,000 miles away in Calcutta. After Saroo isn’t claimed, the country’s adoption service sends the young boy to the Brierley couple in Tasmania (Nicole Kidman, David Wenham) who raise the boy in their upper-middle class world. But as he enters his 20s, Saroo (Dev Patel) ponders his origins. After his friends and girlfriend Lucy (Rooney Mara) inform Saroo about Google Earth, he becomes obsessed about finding the hometown he became separated from so long ago. Screenwriter Luke Davies and director Garth Davis retraced Saroo’s steps in preparing for this epic feature about his life with the latter present at the 60 Minutes taping when Saroo brought together his birth and adopted mother (“I was forced into an intimate situation, a very meaningful moment,” says the director). Eight years ago at TIFF, another moving India-based feature (also starring Patel), Slumdog Millionaire, brought audiences to their feet prior to conquering the 2009 Oscars with eight wins including best picture and director. Could Lion do the same this year? Lion hits theaters on Nov 25.
Rooney Mara, Dev Patel & Director Garth Davis On ‘Lion’s Emotional Journey – Toronto Studio