Director Ang Lee’s adaptation of the Yann Martel novel Life of Pi was flying pretty much under the radar until footage was unveiled earlier this year at CinemaCon. Those in attendance were wowed by the visuals of Lee’s 3D pic, and the general public got their first peek at the film shortly thereafter by way of a stunning trailer. For those unfamiliar with the source material, the story centers on a young man (Suraj Sharma) who is stranded at sea with a Bengal tiger following a shipwreck.
The film is having its world premiere today at the New York Film Festival, and the first reactions from those in attendance have landed online. They’re largely positive, with everyone buzzing about some truly wonderful visuals from Lee and a masterful use of the 3D. And yes, Oscar talk looks to have already begun. Hit the jump to check out some of the first reactions.
We’ll start with reactions from two of the foremost Oscar bloggers on the internets. HitFix’s Kristopher Tapley’s reaction was simple and effective:
Excuse me while I wipe my Life of Pi tears. It’s clunky at times but overall quite affecting
Awards Daily’s Sasha Stone was a bit more introspective with her response:
I am an atheist – so Life of Pi was something for me to behold. My closed mind opened. And I am so beholden to Mr. Lee. It isn’t that I “found god” but it’s that I was able to release something …. a frustrated something. Sigh. Shrooms!
Movies.com’s David Ehrlich had some high praise for Lee, noting that the film’s visuals and 3D make this a film best experienced in the theater:
LIFE OF PI: people say the cinema is dying, and yet films like this prove that it’s *still* just being invented. #NYFF
LIFE OF PI (B+): a clunky framing device reduces this from epic to allegory, but the stuff at sea is painterly, divine, and bracingly new.
LIFE OF PI has the most effective 3D since HUGO, proving that while the format is pushed for the money, it’s meant for the masters.#NYFF
CinemaBlend’s Katey Rich offers perspective from someone familiar with the book:
Life of Pi is gorgeous and engaging and often thrilling. Ending is a whiff, just like the book, but when it works… Wow.
Hollywood.com’s Matt Patches was also a big fan of the film and found the CGI-created tiger to be particularly impressive:
Life of Pi: Thrilled there’s so much heart and humanity behind Ang Lee’s stunning visual feast. #NYFF
Life of Pi’s Tiger is on par with Caesar in ROTPA. An actual performance there.
A less than enthusiastic response, however, comes from MovieCityNews’ David Poland:
Unfortunately, it is all too easy to put into words why Life of Pi didn’t move me, aside from bells & whistles. A missed opportunity.
And finally, Thompson on Hollywood’s Anne Thompson predicts a successful awards run for the film:
Ang Lee’s transcendent Life of Pi reminds that film can heal and inspire. It will play for global critics, audiences and award givers.
It definitely sounds like we’ll be hearing a lot more about Life of Pi as we move further into the awards season race, and it’s exciting to hear that Lee has put together a visually stirring experience. Steve is attending the film’s world premiere tonight so be sure to follow him on Twitter at ColliderFrosty to get his reaction.
Life of Pi opens in 3D on November 21st.