The trailer for the star-powered film adaptation of Saroo Brierley’s memoir, A Long Way Home, has just been released. Dev Patel leads Lion — which will premiere at TIFF in advance of a November 25 release — as Brierley, the Indian-born Australian who at the age of five became separated from his brothers after he fell asleep on a train and ended up wandering 1,500 kilometers from home, his siblings, and his mother; he was eventually taken in to a police station, and, after they deemed his family untraceable, he was adopted by a family in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. In his adult life, he devoted a lot of time to studying Google Earth to try to trace the way he got lost, and eventually locate his family in India – until he ultimately found his way back to those who remained (his mother and two siblings).
While Google Earth will, from the looks of the poster (in a mix of inspirational design and incidental product placement), be playing itself in the film, Nicole Kidman will play his adoptive mother, Sue Brierley, and Rooney Mara will play his girlfriend.
The film is Garth Davis’ feature directorial debut — though Top of the Lake fans are certainly familiar with his work, as he co-directed with Jane Campion. Harvey Weinstein, who’s distributing the film, seemed very confident in it, saying to The Hollywood Reporter that “Lion could get nominated for eight or nine Academy Awards… [Kidman] gets one or supporting actress because she’s amazing” in it.
From the trailer, it happens to look like a rare inspirational film that might be at once slightly Oscar bait-y and truly moving — hopefully also a compelling examination of both the fluid and less fluid aspects of ethnic identity and class.
I’m very connected to the material and there’s a real eagerness in me for other people to see it. I really think it’s going to resonate with people… it’s a beautiful sweeping story, very triumphant.
Watch the trailer:
Here’s the poster: