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Kidman's Lion scores mixed reviews

AAP logoAAP 12/09/2016 By Peter Mitchell

Australia's next great Oscar hope, Lion, is looking less golden after earning mixed reviews following its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival.With a loaded Australian cast and crew headed by Nicole Kidman and David Wenham, Garth Davis directing, Luke Davies penning the script, Emile Sherman producing and Greig Fraser the cinematographer, the film shot in Hobart, Melbourne and India has the potential to challenge the six category Oscar wins by George Miller's Mad Max: Fury Road at the last Academy Awards.But the film, based on a true story about an orphaned five-year-old boy lost in Calcutta, adopted by a family in Hobart and 25 years later embarking on a journey to find his birth mother, hit a speed bump after Saturday's premiere.Key film industry publication The Hollywood Reporter gave a rave review, describing it as "enthralling as it is emotional" while rival Variety was lukewarm."Regardless of complaints, Lion is likely to strike a chord with many, including Oscar voters, and it's refreshing to see the complications of a mixed racial identity brought to the screen," The Guardian's critic Benjamin Lee, reflecting the mixed response, wrote."It might never roar but it's still a fierce contender."Kidman, Wenham and Davis, along with English actor Dev Patel who plays the lead role of Saroo, continued the marketing push on Sunday with multiple interviews in Toronto.Kidman, who has been tipped to earn a supporting actress Oscar nomination for her role as Saroo's Australian mother Sue Brierley, drew on her own experience adopting children, Isabella and Connor, with first husband Tom Cruise.Kidman described the film as "very, very emotional for me, obviously"."Of course that would have been the thing I viscerally reacted to, being a mother of adopted children," Kidman told reporters at a press conference in Toronto on Sunday."But for me, this is a film about the power of mothers whichever form they come in - biological or adoptive."

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