The A-List: Lion director Garth Davis
By Iain Blair
The plot of Lion, the new awards-buzzy Weinstein film, sounds like an over-the-top, completely made-up Hollywood tearjerker — a five-year-old Indian boy named Saroo (Sunny Pawar) wanders onto a train, falls asleep and wakes up thousands of miles away from his home and family.
Frightened, he ends up in chaotic Kolkata. Somehow he survives living on the streets, escaping all sorts of terrors and close calls, before ending up in an orphanage.
Eventually, Saroo is adopted by an Australian couple (Nicole Kidman and David Wenham) and finds love and security as he grows up in Hobart. As an adult, not wanting to hurt his adoptive parents’ feelings, Saroo (Dev Patel) suppresses his past and his hope of ever finding his lost mother and brother, but a chance meeting with some fellow Indians re-awakens his buried yearning. Armed with only a handful of memories, his unwavering determination and Google Earth, Saroo sets out to find his lost family and finally return to his first home.
This true story, adapted from the memoir A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley, was directed by Emmy Award-nominated Garth Davis (Top of the Lake). The screenplay was by Luke Davies (Candy, Life).
I talked to Davis about making the film and his workflow.
This is your first film. What were you looking for in a project?
I’d read a lot of stuff, but I only wanted to make something I was very moved by, scared by, where there was something I could explore and question. I was just so moved by this story and felt there was a lot that I could bring to it. Producers Emile Sherman and Iain Canning of See-Saw Films, who did the Oscar-winning The King’s Speech, offered it to me at Sundance in 2013.
Read More >