Rated 3.0

A Johannesburg gang leader (Presley Chweneyagae) shoots a woman and steals her car and then discovers her infant son in the back seat. He takes the child home to his Soweto shack and, at gunpoint, forces a neighbor woman (Terry Pheto) to nurse the boy along with her own baby. Writer-director Gavin Hood’s film (adapted from Athol Fugard’s novel) won this year’s foreign-film Oscar (among other awards), and it’s easy to see why: It’s well-acted, beautifully photographed and meticulously professional, and it tells audiences what they want to hear about redemption and the innate decency of the most hardened criminal. On some level, we suspect it’s all a crock—seeing this psychopathic thug go all misty-eyed at a cooing baby doesn’t humanize him; it sentimentalizes him—but Hood makes us want to swallow it whole.