Director: Ang Lee
Nominated: Visual Effects, Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Editing, Cinematography, Production Design, Original Score, Original Song, Sound Mixing, Sound Editing
Life of Pi is magnificent. The visuals are stunning and the tiger, Richard Parker, is wonderfully lifelike. A truly exquisite example of visual effects. Any Lee has done a remarkable job of taking a novel that was considered unfilmable and producing a rich and vibrant piece of cinema. I enjoyed the way he split the story up, having the older Pi regaling Rafe Spall‘s character with this remarkable tale. And most importantly having the tale play out on the sea, in a lifeboat. It must have been a grueling shoot for the young Pi, Suraj Sharma. Not only was he having to act against nothing, Richard Parker being added in post for obvious reasons, but he was almost constantly drenched, an unfortunate side effect of being shipwrecked with only a tiger for company.
And like the older Pi says at the end, which story do you want to believe and Rafe replays the one with the tiger, that is definitely the more interesting one. I would rather listen to a tale of shipwrecked tigers and mysterious floating carnivorous islands over an upsetting tale of how being shipwrecked removed people of their humanity and slowly butchered each other in the name of survival.
Everything about this film is rich and vibrant and fantastical, from the production design to the sound. The cinematography is top class, especially when you think that a very large percentage of the film takes place at sea, and all the difficulties that must have arisen when shooting.
I enjoyed Life of Pi and I think it will do well at the Oscars but I’m not sure it’s up there with my personal contenders for Best Picture.