Ang Lee’s “Life of Pi” is a Visual Masterpiece

With still a month left for Oscar-winning Ang Lee’s (李安) epic fantasy adventure film, Life of Pi <少年Pi的奇幻漂流>, to reach theaters, critics and moviegoers that received an early screening of the film are already clapping their hands in a standing ovation.

The 3D film was chosen to open the 50th New York Film Festival on Friday, September 28, and is the first 3D film in history to open the festival. It is based on the 2001 fantasy adventure novel of the same name by Yann Martel, which quickly became a global bestseller after its release.

The big-screen adaptation of the novel was once considered to be impossible to make due to the novel’s vivid descriptions of a very surreal world. However, with the use of advanced 3D technology and stunning computer graphics, Ang Lee wowed the audiences with the film’s spectacular scenic shots, dream-like landscapes and cutting-edge cinematography, marking the film as one of the best 3D experiences since James Cameron’s Avatar in 2009.

The film earned critical praise from critics and moviegoers alike. Todd McCarthy of Hollywood Reporter wrote, “Ang Lee achieves an admirable sense of wonder in this tall tale about a shipwrecked teenager stranded on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger.” Lou Lumernick of the New York Post exclaimed that the film is “the best-looking film [he has] seen this year.” Pete Hammond of Deadline tweeted, “Ang Lee’s Life of Pi is a visual masterpiece and instant Oscar contender. Look for multiple nominations including Best Picture.”

Many critics reached a consensus that the film is not perfect. The script is not executed flawlessly, and there are times in the film when it feels too empty or too gratuitous – but it is nonetheless a fantastic visual experience, and it is one of Hollywood’s most visually-satisfying productions in recent years.

Life of Pi is scheduled to open in theaters on November 21 in North America, Taiwan, and on November 22 in Hong Kong. Although a mainland China release is yet to be scheduled, the film is currently one of mainland China’s most anticipated movies of the year.

Watch “Life of Pi” Trailer

[vsw id=”mZEZ35Fhvuc” source=”youtube” width=”425″ height=”344″ autoplay=”no”]


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  1. This is my MUST WATCH movie since I loved the book and the trailer is awesome!! Definitely will be nominated for Oscars but maybe may not win.

    But one thing wrong. From the still in the video I see Richard Parker resting its head on the boy’s lap. Ahhh Hollywood must you be so darn sentimental? The book itself is enough!

    I highly recommend the book. Awesome book.

    1. It was on the list of my high school required summer reading but I could never get past the first chapter so gave up on it. Couldn’t make head or tail of whether it’s reality or the author’s imagination.

      1. Clamine, the story starts at 3rd chapter or so You have to read through to wonder, and see if you’re an optimist or a pessimist. I’d rather believe in Richard Parker.

        And I am not gonna watch 3D.

    2. “Definitely will be nominated for Oscars but maybe may not win.”

      Ooph. Brokeback Mountain all over again.

      Anyway, I simply cannot wait – even though 3D does my head in!

    3. I saw the trailer at the theater last week…can’t wait to see it.

  2. Ang Lee should consider LF to act this role, the fans will scream!

    1. Did you read Life of Pi? Although LF is a good actor he cant portray an adolescent from a south asia lile Pi.

      1. Haha! Can’t imagine RL as Pi. I thought Pi is an Indian boy, no?

      2. Yup, original from south asia. And only ppl in north east india near China look a bit like Chineses. The rest look indian.

      3. if a chinese can act as jap in some movies, why can’t LF as Pi?

      4. Pi can be any race. That’s why it is called adaptation. Can also be a Chinese guy stranded at sea.

      5. And the guy in the movie is also older than in the book and fairer, but then he could have been north indian.

      6. Now ppl like loyal adaption, or at least close to loyalty.

        And Pi is an Indian for a reason :). Like can’t change the tiger to be a rabbit.

      7. But human is still human, Fox.

        And with Ang Lee the famous director, LF can be transform from a guy of a chinese ehtnic to any ethnic he wants. We’re talking about Movie NOT novel.. Dont get carried away ya?

      8. If Son Goku can be a white guy so why can’t LF potray Pi?

      9. Btw, I guess you are madly in love with LF as Pi? Even his fans can’t support but you are dying to put him as Pi… Bow down.

      10. I think you’ve left out the word “sarcastic” before the word “joke”..

        so kcabc is your new clone or what? hehee

      11. LMAO~, and maybe exoidus is your old clone :P? Oh no, Veejay is my new clone, lolz.

        sarcastic? It’s before my reply, lolz.

      12. Lolz, and in the end, you are still madly in love with LF, lolz.

      13. Nah, I am Fox’s long lost sister. Hi Fox! Should I send you picture of my parents so we can compare?

      14. “I think you’ve left out the word “sarcastic” before the word “joke”..”

        Because I think “lame” is a better choice.

      15. @kcabc: Wave hands, you are my sister of same father but different daddy.

      16. I think ppl can see who’s blindly inluv with LF here, hehe..

        With just one sentence of casting LF as Pi, the convo can turned into a lenghty conversation/replies..hehe.. I guess whoever say “LF” in their statement have to think twice before posting or else, they will end up getting so much replies from extreme LF fans hehe.

      17. You started and are enjoying that convo Veejay. Can’t help it, LF is just so attractive.

      18. That’s why I said that you are enjoying the replies because you want to see this, and I’m a good girl so why I don’t make you happy?

        =)) the most extreme fan here, nobody can grab this title from you. Lolz, you start yourself and act like you are an outsider, what does it call?

      19. Providing that you even dun noe what is Life of Pi and who is Pi, LMAO~.

      20. How can you expect her to care about Pi?? The only one she cares is LF. I’m blindly inluv with him, and she’s revealingly inluv with him.

      21. Any good novel can be flexible. Whilst a tiger can’t be a rabbit, a tiger can certainly be a lion or a leopard. It is symbolic, not literal. Same with Pi. If Shakespeare’s works can be adapted to any century or race, I don’t see why Life Of Pi can’t. And if age can be adjusted, I don’t see why LF can’t be cast as Pi except I don’t think I can take 2 hours of his chok look. He needs dialogue, not just facial expression which the other Raymond as in Raymond Lam can do.

      22. ROLF~. Maybe next time I will claim that you are the old clone of Veejay, kcabc

      23. It isn’t the matter of who can act Pi now but the matter that Veejay is dying to see LF as Pi 🙂 and Fox dun want to see LF as Pi! Lolz.

        As long as he is still Pi, not Pee.

      24. Look like the word Chok has been overused. Every expression LF makes can be called Chok, should replace the word Chok by LF already LOL.

      25. @kcabc: You want to see Raymond Wong’s Pee or Funn Lim want to see Raymond Wong’s Pee

        Oh I mean Pi :P, Lolz.

        Thank you all for some good laugh in the morning. I laughed so hard over this convo.

      26. LOL, I was merely saying LF can be casted as Pi since its a movie and his little fans will scream their lungs out except me, Funn and probably Exoidus LOL!! but u went on replying saying “oh that’s not funny at all, Pi must Pi and Lf can’t cast as Pi cuz Pi is so original” and that’s what u think only.. In movies, you can cast anyone u like as Lead Role. But you simply like putting words into my mouth, accusing me for liking or madly inluv with LF? rofl.. I think whoever are here long enough will know the truth 😛

      27. It is pronounced as Pie I believe.

        And why LF fans against this casting? I mean he will spend first half half naked and then later half fully naked. Unless you can’t stand the sight of a naked LF.

      28. Well, I dont think I can stand watching LF half naked for even 1 minute 😛

      29. @Veejay,

        I bet LF would beg for a role in this movie as he would gain international exposure. Too bad Ang Lee is a professional and won’t cast a overhyped actor with mediocre acting skills.

        Besides for the billions of viewers that isn’t a fan seeing this unfit half-naked body would turn this movie into poison and make them vomit blood, LOL

      30. Ermmm what about Him Law?

        Seriously, if there is ONE TVB actor that acts as Pi as in stranded in the middle of the sea with a tiger as a companion and the increasingly lack of clothes as his predicament, who do you want to see in it? Any actor, young, old, can act, can’t act… WHO?!

      31. I just like movie adaptations to be faithful to the book. Like if Katniss is said to have black hair and olive skinned, don’t make her BROWN HAIR AND LIGHT SKINNED. Like Harry potter has a lightning bolt scar, you don’t give him a heart shaped scar. So Pi is South Asian. And so he should remain so.

      32. I personally want to see Raymond Wong. Maybe not naked Raymond Wong. Then he can legitimately use 100 cans of spray tan and imagine the camera up close to his “sui wong wong” eyes, a tear, NO 2 tears sliding down his pale hollowed cheeks. I will cry for him!!

      33. Aiyahhhh lightning bold is ESSENTIAL to the plot. Indian boy is not, because any colour can be Hindu and not be Indian.

        Katniss.. isn’t she supposed to skinny, starving? The actress looked pretty robust in the movie.

        But the most on spot casting? Twilight and I still hated the movie AND the books.

      34. Nonon, the scar is essential to the plot, but not the shape, BUT it should remain the SAME, and not take on the shape of the london subway map like Dumbledore’s scar. It’s what you visualise when you read the book you know? in my mind, I’ve been thinking about a poor indian boy, bc Patel is an indian last name!? It’s the same as Parvati Patel from HP, so it should be indian right? They can cast a pakistan or indian etc, I don’t care as long as they look the part.

        And I agree Twilight has the best cast, even though it’s the worst book+movie EVERRRRRRRR.

      35. haha Exoidus, you’re the only person who understand the hidden meaning of my messsage. Some fans thought I m so inlove with LF until I wanted to see LF so badly as Pie role. Ang Lee will never cast LF as Pie or in any of his movies since AL knows the quality of LF very well which is not up to his standard yet hehe.. but fans mistaken my sentence, thinking I want to see him

      36. Because if he acts in something like L’Amant I will agree, but for a role like Pi, it must be an Indian guy because the guy in the novel is an Indian guy for some reasons. I said it many times. Like you can’t pull a leopard instead of the tiger in Life of Pi because the survivor fight of Pi and the tiger won’t be the same if the tiger is a leopard. Moreover, it’s an adaption of Life of Pi so I want to see Pi, not Pee or Pie. You can make your Life of Pee or Pie with whoever you want :P.

        The whole convo is showing that I’m a fan and I dun want, but Veejay forced LF to be Pi. LMAO~, and when I teased back Veejay, nobody can understand for Veejay until exoidus come. So according to Veejay’s theory, if kcabc is my new clone, am I wrong to say exoidus is Veejay’s old clone? Lolz, lolz. And as for you are a fan, ok, I’m teasing you, don’t need to jump like this. Haha maybe if you don’t want to be called a fan, next time you shouldn’t start a convo like this. Meh~, you start, you continue and you are yelling at ppl for why they want to make you happy :P.

        It will be a reasonable convo if LF did beg Ang Lee to act Pi, but all are in Veejay’s imagination, so wat can do with it? No LF, no Raymond Wong, no HimHim, just the boy chosen by Ang Lee. So stop your day dream and enjoy this Pi. Here, we have Pi, not Pee or Pie.

      37. “Nonon, the scar is essential to the plot, but not the shape,”

        The shape is essential to the plot because harry in 1st book does not know why the scar is there but he likes the shape of it which is of a thunderbolt. Now where the scar is is of course not essential.

      38. “Twilight has the best cast, ”

        That’s not what I mean. I mean Twilight movies has a cast that are most suited, that is because they are like the book and as annoying as the books.

      39. I’m a Ray fan but even I say he can’t do Pi. The first TVB name that came to mind was actually Fred Cheng. Am I crazy?

      40. Pi is Pi and don’t cast any Txb actor in. Not match at all. Pi must be an Indian or south Asia guy, that’s all I can say.

        So this lame joke can be stopped in here. But of course if Veejay or exoidus wanna continue, I don’t mind to continue with them :).

    2. Haha. Lam Fung can’t fit in that role, sorry buddy. I agree with Fox.

      1. my comment was merely a sarcastic joke if you didnt get it by chance 😛

      2. I understand that you want to joke, Veejay, but you had a failed one.

      3. Can but you have to find a good way to joke, or your joke will be teased back :P. You know, joke is also an art.

      4. Yeah, lame jokes can still make people laugh, but at the person who make that joke.

      5. hehe, like how others laughed at you being blindly inluv with LF.

      6. Apparently I’m not the only one who didn’t get the ‘sarcastic joke’ 😛

      7. I think the one who is blindly in love with him is you? Lolz, nobody is talking about him in here but you miss him so much to mention of him in here. I bet you are enjoying the good feeling of having replies :P.

      8. The old Lam Fung can, before the chok, before ps and he was pretty tan back then…just check the pics in ps tab.

    3. Only if they use a real tiger as Richard Parker.

      In such a case, LF’s fans would not be the only ones screaming. LOL!!

    4. I understand you’re being sarcastic but I don’t understand why you and exoidus have to bring up LF in almost any situations (those not link to him at all) just to bash him.

    1. although I haven’t got the time to read the book yet, Im eager to watch it too 🙂

      1. Maybe you should read the book :D. I want to watch the movie because I think the book is hard to adaption, although it’s a very good book.

  3. I always thought Ang Lee is good with storytelling but visuals is a bit of a problem because that would be Zhang Yimou’s forte. But I am really looking forward to this movie after I saw the trailer. I too thought the book is not adaptable, not with an unknown actor but the trailer looks awesome. But to hell with 3D. 3D is overhyped.

  4. Finally, the long awaited movie that could be viewed as a representative work of Asia.

    A welcomed intrusion to the current line-up of movies that is dominated by HK trash.

    1. Did you see Ting Fung’s interview today…he said “hk’s movie industry is really going down, the quality is not there, the golden era is over, with the loss of Anita Mui, Gor Gor, Fei Fei…hk has no real stars, there are some small movie stars, some small singers but no superstars”. And I totally agree with him.

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