Life of Pi (2012) Film Review


Life of Pi is one of my favourite books. Ever. I loved reading it, I found it traumatic and tense but beautiful and delightful and I hated that it had to end. When I heard last year that it was being made into a film, I could not believe it. I was sure it would be a total disaster.

How could they possibly put such beauty into a film? Yet they succeeded.  The film totally blew me away. I cried a lot, I laughed. I was totally taken in to the story and, despite knowing where it was going, I was traumatised every step of the way.

Pi is a young man who grew up in India in a zoo run by his father. When he is a teenager, his father sells the animals in the zoo so the family can move to Canada. The family accompanies many of the animals on a cargo ship that mysteriously sinks. Pi ends up on a lifeboat with a zebra, an orangutan, a hyena and a Bengal tiger called Richard Parker.

As much as it sounds ridiculous, it is a story of survival, of humanity and of wonder. Most people I know who have read this book have loved it as passionately as I do, which means that I think there are a lot of people out there who will hate it. I expect there will also be people out there who will hate the film. It cannot be denied that it is truly beautiful, but for some, that will not be enough.

I’m so glad that it wasn’t disappointing. It’s bad enough having Jack Reacher ruined for me, leave me Pi.

Life of Pi was nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture and for Production Design, a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture (Drama), a BAFTA for Best Film and a BAFTA for Production Design.

Claudio Miranda won the Oscar for Cinematography and the BAFTA for Cinematography.

Ang Lee won the Oscar for Directing, was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Director – Motion Picture, and was nominated for a BAFTA for Director.

Tim Squyres was nominated for an Oscar for Film Editing and a BAFTA for Editing

Mychael Danna won the Oscar for Music (Original Score), won the Golden Globe for Best Original Score – Motion Picture and was nominated for a BAFTA for Original Music.

‘Pi’s Lullaby’ was nominated for an Oscar for Music (Original Song).

Eugene Gearty and Philip Stockton were nominated for an Oscar for Sound Editing

Ron Bartlett, D.M. Hemphill and Drew Kunin were nominated for an Oscar for Sound Mixing.

Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer and Donald R. Elliott won the Oscar for Visual Effects and a BAFTA for Special Visual Effects.

David Magee was nominated for an Oscar for Writing (Adapted Screenplay) and a BAFTA for Original Screenplay.

Drew Kunin, Eugene Gearty, Philip Stockton, Ron Bartlett, D. M. Hemphill were nominated for a BAFTA for Sound.