2013_BestPictureLIFE OF PI

As strong of a film as “Life Of Pi” is, I do not see it winning Best Picture. In my opinion it’s down to “Argo” and “Lincoln”, with one of them taking the major award. But that doesn’t mean “Life Of Pi” won’t clean up. It’s going to win several awards out of its eleven nominations and it will go down as one of the best films of the year. This will be Ang Lee’s second ever Best Picture nominee.

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Expect “Life Of Pi” to be a strong contender in this category, with many of the experts placing it with higher odds to win over all the other contenders. What keeps me from placing it as my official pick? Roger Deakins is due and “Skyfall” is some of his best work. This is Claudio Miranda’s second nomination after “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (2008) and he’ll more than likely have many more to come, but Deakins is on his tenth nomination with no wins, ranking him as one of the most talented cinematographers to never win an Oscar. Although experts will say this is Miranda’s year, I’m holding out for Deakins.

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Best Directing is almost completely up in the air between Steven Spielberg, Ang Lee, and David O. Russell. I place Russell out just because I do not see “Silver Linings Playbook” actually cashing in on many of its nominations. However, my pick does go to Spielberg, who I believe will take it all, leaving Ang Lee out. Ang Lee did win an Oscar in 2006 for “Brokeback Mountain”, so if he were to win, this would be his second Oscar. Russell has none and Spielberg has two.

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The editing by Tim Squyres in “Life Of Pi” is phenomenal and having cut it in 3D, it adds an extra layer of creativity. However, editing is for “Argo” to lose this year, having taken the Eddie for best editing. Squyres was nominated once before for his work on “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon” (2000).

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The book “Life Of Pi” was said to be unfilmable, so the first step in the process to make it not so would be to write a screenplay that could allow it to be filmed and that’s where this Academy Award nominated film got its start. It’s a feat to take on a film that can’t be filmed, but none-the-less, “Life Of Pi” has too huge of a hill to climb to beat out fellow nominees in “Argo” and “Lincoln”.

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The experts are saying “Life Of Pi” has this one in the bag, and who I am to argue. Personally, I would prefer Thomas Newman for “Skyfall”, but I do feel that the score makes “Life Of Pi” which would otherwise be a boy screaming on a boat in the middle of the ocean and instead is a beautiful marvel in most regards, accentuated by the wonderful score by Mychael Danna and will be his first win if he takes home the Oscar.

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Unfortunately, “Pi’s Lullaby” is the weakest of all the songs nominated this year and I would be wholly surprised if Adele does not take the top prize.

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May I go ahead and say, “what production design?” “Life Of Pi” is a film on a single boat in the middle of the ocean. What production design is there? I would be completely taken aback if “Life Of Pi” were to win. This film belongs to the period pieces, especially “Anna Karenina”, “Les Miserables”, and maybe even “Lincoln”. These films put painstaking detail into every frame of the film, something that can not be touted by “Life Of Pi” and their crew, David Gropman, who was nominated for “The Cider House Rules” (1999) and Anna Pinnock, who has been nominated for “The Golden Compass” (2007) and “Gosford Park” (2001).

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Great trouble went into making a CGI Bengal tiger roar and Sound Editing has to be acclaimed for that. The trouble is, “Life Of Pi” faces four other films that do exceptional work in the area of editing sound, like “Zero Dark Thirty” and “Skyfall” which both bring explosions, crashes, and night raids to life with the development of sounds. Eugene Gearty and Philip Stockton both won last year for “Hugo”, but this will not be a repeat year for them.

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Expect “Les Miserables” to take this one, with the mixing of live recorded music on set and the composed score of the accompanying music. “Life Of Pi” has a task of mixing the sound of the ocean as well, but that will not equal up to a win for seven time nominee D.M. Hemphill, who won for “The Last of the Mohicans” (1992).

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“Life Of Pi” has this one in the bag, with no telling where the CGI begins and the real world ends (although most of the film is CGI, including the all the animals and the water scape. Because of visual effects, a story that is said to be unfilmable comes to life and breathes the meaning of why these computer-enhanced storytellers can bring elements to life that no one thought were possible.


With some of the best use of visual effects ever witnessed in a film and one of the first films I’ve ever said “perhaps I should see the 3D version”, “Life Of Pi” is a visual masterpiece. Telling the inspirational story of a young Indian man stranded in the Pacific ocean with a Bengal tiger, there’s enough tension between the two character to carry the film through its over two hour run-time. Despite some questionable transition choices and a lagging interview used as a bookmark, Ang Lee proves his vision can break the stigma that the book “Life of Pi” is “unfilmable”.

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// Produced by Ang Lee, Gil Netter, & David Womark // Directed by Ang Lee // Written by David Magee //

// Cinematography: Claudio Miranda // Editor: Tim Squyres // Based on Life of Pi by Yann Martel //

// Score Composed by Mychael Danna // Music by Mychael Danna; Lyric by Bombay Jayashri //

// Production Design: David Gropman // Set Decorator: Anna Pinnock // Sound Editing: Eugene Gearty and Philip Stockton // Sound Mixing: Ron Bartlett, D.M. Hemphill and Drew Kunin //

// Visual Effects: Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer and Donald R. Elliott //

// Dated Viewed: Saturday, February 16th, 2013 // AMC CITY WALK //  6 films – 9 days //












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