Based on the autobiographical book by Saroo Brierley, A Long Way Home, Lion tells the true story of how Brierley, 25 years after being separated from his family in Burhanpur, sets out to find them. Lion is the story of a life lost and found.
Dr. Stephen Fleming, a doctor turned politician living a charmed life as MP and government minister, locks eyes with an unusual young woman at a reception. She is Anna Barton, and she returns his gaze with such intensity and duration that we, as witnesses to the scene, hold our breath and become distinctly uneasy. We are correct in our sense of foreboding. As one reviewer put it, "they are careening toward disaster and we can't look away."
As the apparently-perfect wife of a Nobel prize-winning writer (Jonathan Price), Glenn Close gives arguably her best ever performance in an adaptation of Meg Wolitzer’s novel. It is a fascinating and bravura performance, in this hugely enjoyable dark comedy from director Björn Runge.
In the words of the film critic Roger Ebert, this latest version of Charlotte Bronte's classic gothic novel effectively captures the atmosphere of the genre, with "ungovernable eroticism squirming to escape" amid "gloomy shadows of crepuscular castles."
The film's story is an example of what The Guardian's film critic Peter Bradshaw calls "that emerging post-'Wicked' genre, the revisionist-backstory fairytale," but it's affecting. It has a primordial edge that the clumsy filmmaking can't blunt. There are moments in "Maleficent" that are profoundly disturbing, in the way that ancient myths and Grimm fairy tales are disturbing. They strike to the heart of human experience and create the kinds of memories that young children—young girls particularly—will obsess over, because on some level they'll know, even without the benefit of adult experience, that the film is telling them a horrible sort of truth.