Oscar Watch: Lion

Over the weekend, the Toronto Film Festival screenings have dampened the hopes of some pictures to garner Oscar attention, most notably Ewan McGregor’s American Pastoral and Oliver Stone’s Snowden. Yet they can bolster the chances of others and that appears to be the case with Lion.

The pic tells the true life tale of a young Indian boy who is separated from his family in the mid 1980s and uses the resources of Google Earth to relocate them 25 years later. First time director Garth Davis is behind the camera and the film is produced by the Weinstein Company, whose founder Harvey has a knack for Oscar campaigning. Due to the participation of its lead Dev Patel and the geographic location, some early reviews have drawn comparisons to Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire, which won the big prize eight years ago.

While not all critical notices have been raves, Lion has been singled out as an inspiring crowd pleaser that the Academy could warm to. A Best Picture nod seems in reach and that could extend to Davis and Luke Davies for his Adapted Screenplay. As for the performers, Patel seems most likely to receive recognition. It isn’t 100% certain whether he will be campaigned for in lead Actor or Supporting. If he goes lead, there’s a chance that young Sunny Pawar (playing Patel’s character during the first hour) could get some buzz. Rooney Mara and especially Nicole Kidman could be factors in Supporting Actress.

My Oscar Watch will continue as Toronto does…

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