Directed by: Ang Lee
Written by: David Magee (screenplay), Yann Martel (novel)
Starring: Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan, Adil Hussain, Rafe Spall, Tabu and Gérard Depardieu
Oscar Nominations: Cinematography, Editing, Original Score, Original Song, Production Design, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Visual Effects, Screenplay (Adapted), Directing, Best Motion Picture
This movie is a visual feast and (as a few critics have mentioned) uniquely demonstrates the power of 3D and CGI. Even if you don’t like 3D I would say this movie is a must-see in the awkward glasses. The story, about a man reminiscing about his youth and his search for truth and religion, depends entirely on its effects and a celebration of the magic of filmmaking. It is interesting to see it nominated against Beasts of the Southern Wild as both use film to relay their stories in such unexpected and exceptionally unique ways (unleashed imagination vs. heartbreaking realism) that neither should be missed.
What I liked: I am not one for special effects, but what Ang Lee has accomplished here is worthy of praise. This film moves forward with visual mastery and my hat is off to the director for using the effects to their fullest potential rather than relying on it to tell an amazing (and some said un-filmable) tale. Finally, once we’re pulled out of the adventure and listen quietly to the protagonist as he looks back on the adventures of his youth, there is a moment of truth and honesty that is truly touching.
What I didn’t like: Thoughts on religion throughout the story didn’t add much to the movie and hindered the flow. The acting is not as strong as the effects and I was certainly aware of Suraj Sharma’s ‘performance’ as opposed to the smooth conversationalist tone of Irrfan Khan. The insertion of the author didn’t work for me either until the very end and it feels like he’s only there to propel the story, whereby his character isn’t given much depth or understanding.
My rating: Avatar was just the beginning.
Rotten Tomatoes: 88%