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Lion's Den Photos

Movie Info

In the hazy morning after a threesome, expectant mother Julia Zárate (Martina Gusmán) finds her partner dead in her flat, and his fling, Ramiro (Rodrigo Santoro), badly injured. Police arrive on the scene and promptly throw Julia behind bars, where she awaits trial. As her pregnancy progresses, Julia sinks into a deep depression. But she sheds her quiet, defeated demeanor when the eventual birth of her son, Tomás (Tomás Plotinsky), gives her a reason to live.

Cast & Crew

Martina Gusmán
Julia
Laura García
Marta
Walter Cignoli
Alejandro Fadel
Screenwriter
Santiago Mitre
Screenwriter
Pablo Trapero
Screenwriter
Martina Gusmán
Executive Producer
Guillermo Nieto
Cinematographer
Pablo Trapero
Film Editor
Ana Aráoz
Casting
Verónica Bruno
Casting Director
Show all Cast & Crew

Critic Reviews for Lion's Den

All Critics (29) | Top Critics (14) | Fresh (26) | Rotten (3)

  • 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.

    March 26, 2010 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Real inmates are extras, real cells provide the scenery: it has the desperate vitality of something barely made-up.

    March 25, 2010 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • Less than the sum of its parts? Yes. Nice parts? Yes.

    March 25, 2010 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Lion's Den is an unqualified success.

    March 25, 2010 | Rating: 5/5
  • [Features] a strong central performance and convincing depiction of the compartmentalisation of Argentina's women.

    March 25, 2010 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • The results are mixed -- a handful of moments of genuine, undeniable power, interspersed with a fair number of listless scenes.

    July 31, 2009 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Lion's Den

  • Feb 19, 2013
    I would never say that the film was bad. But until Julia gives birth to her son, the movie is kind of aimless. When it becomes a story about a mother doing everything she can to raise her son as normally as she can under strange circumstances, then the movie improves a whole lot. Everything that happened before that was still solid and Martina Gusman was more good in her role, it's just that the story doesn't really kick in until she gives birth. The movie is well made and acted. I also liked the fact that there's a bit of ambiguity and the movie never tells you whether Julia did or did not murder the person she was accused of murdering. I thought that added a little intrigue to the story that wouldn't have been there if they had told you explicitly whether she did it or not. It's just a tiny little touch that actually adds a lot to the film as far as being intriguing and adding a little mystery to the proceedings. There was potential for this film to be melodramatic and overacted but I think, and this is typical of a lot of Argentinian films I've seen, the films are believably acted and they have a grit to their visual style that is more realistic. That's about it, sometimes the film can be a mixed bag but once the story gets to the heart of the matter, it ends up becoming a strong film with an excellent performance from Martina Gusman.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Jul 19, 2009
    Some beautiful movie were coming lately from Argentina and Lion's Den was also one of them. The movie, the characters. the performances and the location, all were amazing. It was not only a movie about a mother's struggle to raise her child in a prison, but it was more then only that. The movie was about mothers love and her struggle to prove her innocence to raise her child outside the prison. Presenting the movie scenes in a prison with background prison noises created an atmosphere which made this movie more real. What was remarkable in this movie the prison guards which usually were presented as brutal and heartless human beings, were in this movie touching and caring people. A real jewel from Argentina. Worth a watch.
    Daisy M Super Reviewer
  • Jul 13, 2009
    With a scarcely believable ending, "Lion's Den" is a compelling yet episodic movie about Julia(Martina Gusman) who along with Ramiro(Rodrigo Santoro) has been charged with the murder of a mutual acquaintance. They both have different explanations accusing the other which is ironic since they have no memories of the night in question in Julia's apartment. The following morning, she went out like nothing was wrong even when waking up with blood on her cheek but did not realize anything was wrong until she found a bruise on her neck. The movie specializes in subtle clues like that such as a little boy walking in a prison corridor before alerting the viewer to Julia being in a ward for mothers since she is pregnant. While this alone is an intriguing setting from which to examine the dynamics of prison life(sadly, Julia and her friend Marta(Laura Garcia) are the only detailed characters there), her pregnancy has another use as a measurement of how long she is behind bars without receiving a trial. At the same time, Julia undergoes a personal transformation brought on from being in prison and becoming a mother from rich party girl to somebody taking responsibility for her life.
    Walter M Super Reviewer
  • Apr 28, 2009
    Painfully realistic portrayal of one mother's struggle to raise her child in a penitentiary for women. Director Pablo Trapero doesn't pull any punches and Martina Gusman's performance is utterly fantastic.
    Randy T Super Reviewer

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