Boring, cliched, stilted, and dumb. Selective in its usage of history and global events, the film takes the easy ways out. It never acknowledges the fact that these characters were essentially found, bought and sold to America to work under the name of slavery *ahem* I mean captialism. The film is a lie, except not a good one. Its Driving miss daisy and the blind side all over again.
Falardeau submits to the Hollywood machine and comes up wanting in this first big budget entry after an exceptional body of work at home in Quebec including 'Monsieur Lazhar' and 'Congorama'. The story of the lost boys of Sudan is an important tale but its reliance on its' western characters late in the film spoils what came before. It often seems a pedestrian take on what should have been far more powerful.
There's more to this than its humanity. There's freedom, when there is sacrifice. Sad but true. It's a cruel and beautiful story based on real events, with fictional people. Two of its stars, were real Sudanese refugees. I gotta say, the kids' performances couldn't impress me, but the adult cast did fairly well. Fine ending. It's an important and moving story that's needed to be told.
Not easy for a film to tackle on such topic, because something will always be lacking or missing. However, for an American audience, it is a first step, and of course it always will be made palatable for the screen, and the comic situations are cliche.
That said, I was deeply moved. That's a story that needs to be told - over and over again. Because we all conveniently forget.
Don't judge a film by it's horrible marketing team. Far from The Blind Side, this English debut by Falardeau doesn't match Monsieur Lazhar but is a solid feel-good film.The film balances both it's drama & fish-out-fo-water laughs. The performances are all great, except for Witherspoon's familiar & cynical working-woman. While it did feel rushed in the US scenes, in the end, it had just enough sincerity and honesty.
Falardeau employs actual former child soldiers from the war-torn region of what is now South Sudan to take on the principal roles in the film, a move I can certainly appreciate. Sadly, the weakest performance comes from Witherspoon. Having lived in Africa for 3 years, I appreciated the inclusion of authentic cultural traits found on the continent - men holding hands, probing personal questions at introductions, etc.
Warm and touching. It tends to be funny for urbanized people to witness those ones that don't know simple technologies such as telephone or even their unfriendly and robotic manners. The depiction of childhood survival in Africa found here puts that tendency on perspective. You can still smile about it but you not gonna do as before. Good to know about those refugees programs.