ACADEMY AWARD NOMINATIONS
- Best Picture
- Best Cinematography
- Best Director – Ang Lee
- Best Film Editing
- Best Sound Editing
- Best Production Design
- Best Original Score – Mychael Danna
- Best Song – “Pi’s Lullaby”
- Best Sound Mixing
- Best Visual Effects
- Best Adapted Screenplay – David Magee
I was a little nervous watching this movie. I think many because of Ang Lee, who is pretty all over the place in the movies he makes. I could easily see this movie missing its potential. After finally watching it though I think that he did a great job.
I vaguely remember listening to this audio book back in college and liking it, or maybe I just liked it because the people around me did (I only remembered big events in the story). While I watched the film a good amount of it came back. As far as I could tell it was a good representation of the book. I think the actors did a fantastic job and the special effects where better than what I was expecting. Of course it did help that there was a giant cat as a character since I have recently become very attached to Elizabeth’s cat Charlie.
I think this film is better than a majority of the films that we have been watched but it is kind of hard to overlook the giant mistake of not casting John Goodman!
Now, I didn’t enjoy watching Life of Pi, but that’s not because it wasn’t a good movie. I haven’t read the book, so I wasn’t fully prepared for the story. But unfortunately (for me), Life of Pi happens to touch on a bunch of themes that make it hard for me to watch a movie: being shipwrecked, the death of parents and/or family, and, most resoundingly, animals in peril – especially cats. It doesn’t matter if the cat in question is a house cat or a Bengal tiger, I don’t want to see it in trouble.
There were just a lot of things in Life of Pi that were extremely hard to watch: Pi (Suraj Sharma) weeping for his dead family, a dying zebra sharing Pi’s lifeboat, the same dying zebra getting eaten by a hyena that is also on the lifeboat, a female orangutan being sad over her dead baby, the same sad female orangutan getting killed by that fucking hyena, and the Bengal tiger, Richard Parker (a name I really loved for this character) being in various dangerous situations. I mean, if I had issues with Pirates! Band of Misfits because the animated dodo bird reminded me of my cat Charlie, you have to expect some serious issues when there’s an actual cat in actual trouble. When Richard Parker jumped out of the lifeboat to catch a fish, only to find himself unable to get back in, I cried. When Richard Parker came back to the lifeboat after they found an island because Pi called for him, I cried. When Richard Parker walked into the jungle and away from Pi forever, I cried. And, the saddest of all, when Richard Parker, weak with hunger and thirst, lets Pi pet him, and then Pi sits with Richard Parker’s head in his lap, petting him, telling him that they’re dying, I sobbed. It doesn’t matter that the story is being told from an adult Pi, so you know he’s survived. I sort of cared more about Richard Parker, because he’s just a sweet kitty! Maybe it’s a problem that I was more upset by Richard Parker’s problems than Pi’s . . . but that’s just me, I guess.
I’m pretty surprised that Suraj Sharma didn’t get a Best Actor nomination, because although I was much more concerned about Richard Parker, his performance as Pi was pretty amazing. I did find the visual effects to be sort of distracting, but they weren’t bad. I think it’s just hard to make something so dynamic as animals convincing in CGI.