Life of Pi
While some 3D movies push the boundaries of the format — think Avatar or Hugo — the overwhelming majority of films in the format are lazy retrofits of banal action movies, some of which are even re-releases hastily 3D-ed up to rake in some extra dough for the studios. But imagine if an original 3D film were to win, say, Best Picture at the Oscars? It may be enough to shelve that obituary for the medium after all.
There might now be a contender. Ang Lee’s Life of Pi, adapted from the Man Booker Prize-winning book by Yann Martel, has been on the receiving end of some pretty good buzz. If you’re not familiar with the fantastical tale, it tells the story of a young man who has survived a shipwreck, only to find himself sharing a lifeboat with the only other survivor on the ship — a Bengal tiger.
Does the film sink or swim? According to the critics, most definitely the former. “The perfect summation of the principle powering Lee’s entire career,” raves The Guardian. “Still waters run deep.” Variety is just as poetic, noting that the movie “melds a harrowing high-seas adventure with a dreamy meditation on the very nature of storytelling,” while The Hollywood Reporter‘s take is that Life of Pi is “an unusual example of anything-is-possible technology put at the service of a humanistic and intimate story rather than something that smacks of a manufactured product.” Ang Lee, of course, has been burnt by Oscar before when the critical favorite Brokeback Mountain lost to outsider Crash in 2006 (he still won Best Director for the movie). Perhaps playing the role of the underdog will suit his film better this time around.