Cinema News and Reviews for the Rest of Us

Ang Lee to direct ‘Life of Pi’

The adaptation of Yann Martel’s novel Life of Pi has been in limbo ever since Fox bought the rights seven years ago, but it seems the ball has finally gotten rolling with Ang Lee attached as director.  The fantasy epic about a boy crossing the sea in a lifeboat with three animals made for a deceptively simple and curiously profound novel, but adapting it to the screen will be a hefty challenge, seeing as there’s little dialogue and the story’s emotional and philosophical beats will be hard to nail down onscreen without voice-over or some cheap trick of that sort.

And Lee certainly is a capable talent for taking on the subtleties and emotional restraint of the story.  But while his style has produced some truly incredible cinema (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Brokeback Mountain) it can also veer into the overly meditative and oddly stagnant (Hulk, Taking Woodstock).  But this project has been given an appropriate budget (around $70 million)) and Lee will surely attract some top acting talent, so there’s a lot of promise here.  It’s a fantastic story to tackle, and fans of the novel have been waiting a long time for a film.

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