Lion

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Most of you are aware of the term hatewatch.  It’s a show or movie you openly hate but for some reason or another choose to keep watching to fuel said hate.  Some people hatewatch Girls.  Others hatewatch Ballers.  Personally, I hatewatched The Walking Dead for several seasons before finally breaking up with it in 2014 (is Carl still wearing that stupid fucking hat?).  It’s what people watch if they feel like being angry.  I can’t put into words why someone would openly want to feel angry but it might be similar to the reasons people are compelled to look at certain social media accounts no matter how much they despise that person’s outlook on life.

Nicole Kidman, David Wenham and Sunny Pawar star in LION Photo: Mark Rogers

I mean, in 2017 it’s easy to feel desensitized and cynical.  What with levels of corruption in leadership that would make even Nino Brown blush, the New England Cobra Kai Patriots winning Super Bowls, OUR PETS HEADS FALLING OFF!  But then you watch something like Lion.  What’s this weird, unrelenting, warm and fuzzy feeling creeping into my gut?   This my friends, is a hate[yourself]watch.  Quite simply, it’s something to throw on when you’re feeling a little downtrodden.  I joked with friends recently that I preemptively downloaded episodes of This Is Us to have in my back pocket on a returning flight home from a boys trip to Montreal, when I would likely be sleep-deprived and grumpy.  It’s the quintessential TV show to bring someone back into the light and the Best Picture nominated Lion has a similar effect on the soul.

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In 1980’s India, a five year old boy accidentally finds himself lost and completely separated from his family, far from home without the necessary comprehensive tools to make it back.  Twenty years later, having eventually been adopted by an Australian couple and now a young professional, he drops everything to search for his biological mother, brother, and sister.  Lion may not have made my top 15 of 2016, but I understand why the Academy deemed it exemplary. The first half in particular, supposedly inspired by WALL-E, is really something.  Grade: B+

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