Secondhand Lions has great actors, a twisty story line, and a lion. What more can a person ask for? My wife and I watched this 2003 movie at the suggestion of a friend and thoroughly enjoyed it. Osment is dumped off by his mother with two old great uncles, who may be rich. At least the Mother and other relatives think so. Initially the uncles all but ignore poor Haley, who has bounced around relatives and orphanages all his life. When he runs away, first the uncle played by Caine, and then the enigmatic uncle played by Duvall, accept the responsibility to raise him. The Duvall uncle has a past that haunts him in his sleepwalking nights. But was he really in the French Foreign Legion, or was he a bank robber, or is all of it bunk? The main three actors give fantastic performances as Haley’s character goes from a castoff young fourteen-year-old to a confident young man.
Writers should watch the director’s commentary where he talks about the balance between exposition and pacing, and character transformations.