Lion ★★½

When Nicole Kidman appears at about the midpoint, you think for a while that the film is going to be able to successfully transition from its remarkably confident, documentarian first half into a successfully nuanced indie feelgood piece for the remainder. Kidman does all she can toward that end, but stars Dev Patel and Rooney Mara can’t help her. Their onscreen heft is too sleight and their chemistry too tepid. Worse, the script fails to offer them anything substantial to work with; there is virtually no depth and certainly no surprise to the way this story resolves itself.

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