Leonera (Lion's Den)
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Writer/director Pablo Trapero crafts this tender tale of an incarcerated woman who gives birth to a baby boy and struggles to raise her son behind bars as she comes to the bleak realization that he is the only one who matters to her anymore. It all started when a pregnant Julia woke up in her apartment flanked by the bloodied bodies of her former lovers Nahuel and Romiro. Subsequently sent to a prison for mothers and pregnant convicts, Julia railed against the system by withdrawing into her own world. Upon giving birth, Julia realizes just how difficult it could be to raise a son in prison,… More
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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The results are mixed -- a handful of moments of genuine, undeniable power, interspersed with a fair number of listless scenes."
‑ Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle
"Part meticulous character study, part hyperrealist drama..."
‑ Dave Calhoun, Time Out
"Riveting, harrowing and thoroughly infused with hope and love, this prison drama is so realistic that it's often difficult to watch"
‑ Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall
"Less than the sum of its parts? Yes. Nice parts? Yes."
‑ Nigel Andrews, Financial Times
"No melodrama, no thriller twists, just Trapero's camera sticking to his lead actress like sweat."
‑ Kate Stables, Total Film
"The dimly lit, exquisitely composed cinematography, by Guillermo Nieto, adds to the draw of this highly recommended movie."
‑ V.A. Musetto, New York Post
"A portrait of a subculture whose members take pride in walking their kids to the penitentiary's pre-K class."
‑ David Fear, Time Out New York
"Frustratingly, the film tells us little about the crime itself and the denouement is a little unconvincing. The taste of sweat and fear is, however, real enough."
‑ Peter Bradshaw, Guardian
"Lion's Den is an unqualified success."
‑ Jason Wood, Little White Lies
"[Features] a strong central performance and convincing depiction of the compartmentalisation of Argentina's women."
‑ David Parkinson, Empire Magazine
"Although it is not a comedy, Lion's Den is suffused with sense of life lived in the present. Even the grimmest moments are not exploited to instill fear and loathing."
‑ Stephen Holden, New York Times
"Once the film devolves into a drag-down fight for custody with Julia's mother, only Gusman's nuance saves us from a script that seems geared more toward screeching overacting."
‑ Aaron Hillis, Village Voice
"Real inmates are extras, real cells provide the scenery: it has the desperate vitality of something barely made-up."
‑ Tim Robey, Daily Telegraph
"How do you raise a child in prison? Argentinian director Pablo Trapero tackles that question with affecting skill in this initially squalid yet ultimately uplifting social drama."
‑ Alan Jones, Radio Times
"When it hits, the emotional intensity is ratcheted up, sometimes to overly showy levels, before ending relatively quietly with an escape attempt that, depending on one's view, is either gratifying or tragic."
‑ Stan Hall, Oregonian
More reviews for Leonera (Lion's Den) on Rotten Tomatoes

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