Heads Up: Life of Pi
Crouching tiger, Booker-winner, festive hit film?
What are we talking about? A 3D film adaptation of Yann Martel's 2001 Booker-winning novel about a boy who survives a shipwreck to spend 227 days floating in a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger.
Elevator pitch Crouching tiger, Booker-winning novel… Life of Pi springs on to the big screen.
Prime movers Ang Lee – Brokeback Mountain; Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; Sense and Sensibility – continues his genre-busting directorial career. The screenplay is adapted from the novel by David Magee (Finding Neverland).
The stars Pi is played by 17-year-old Indian actor Suraj Sharma, in his first ever film role; Irfan Khan (The Amazing Spiderman) plays the older Pi. Indian actress Tabu is Pi's mother and Adil Hussain his father. Also keep your eyes out for smaller roles taken by Gerard Depardieu and Rafe Spall.
Early buzz Todd McCarthy in The Hollywood Reporter wrote: "Ang Lee, that great chameleon among contemporary directors, achieves an admirable sense of wonder in this tall tale about a shipwrecked teenager stranded on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger, a yarn that has been adapted from the compellingly peculiar best-seller with its beguiling preposterousness intact." Justin Chang for Variety also found it had a "sui generis quality that's never less than beguiling", although he wasn't completely entranced, adding that "its fable-like construction and impeccable artistry come up a bit short in terms of truly gripping, elemental drama." Tom Shone for The Guardian was unequivocal, however: "Hollywood has been waiting for this movie. Get ready for the year of the Tiger."
Insider knowledge Sharma spent three months in Taiwan training seven days a week, learning – crucial, this, for a film set at sea and largely filmed in an 1.7-million-gallon water tank – how to swim.
It's great that… by all accounts, Lee has found a way to film in 3D and use technology like motion capture and CGI in a way that is remains warm and even intimate.
IT's a shame that… while the film doesn't shirk the spiritual-journey side of the novel, on the big screen this all-embracing celebration of faith may strike some as cloying.
Hit potential Could well be a seasonal triumph – the book was a bestseller, and the film has feel-good, cross-generational appeal.
The details Life of Pi is released in cinemas 20 December.
elephant appealThe first 23 lots in our charity auction have now gone. But there are 22 more still up for grabs
The magicians using online collaboration to push boundaries
lifeIt takes year-long dedication to get Selfridges ready for 25 December. And they're already working on plans for 2015...
Jennifer Lawrence attacks mass media again over body image
Paris charity auction staged to save the ancient city of Tyre
scienceScientists find the answer to a question that even puzzled Darwin
A very timely Great Train Robbery and a frantic 24 Hours in A&E among the highlights
Arts & Ents blogs
Brian Griffin returns: Cartoon dog back from the dead in Family Guy Christmas episode
Christmas has come early: Justin Bieber announces he's 'retiring from music'
Coriolanus, theatre review: 'Tom Hiddleston has blazing stellar power'
Nymphomaniac, film review: 'Despite the surreal sex scenes this is a serious drama'
Justin Bieber's mishaps and controversies
Exclusive: Young people ‘want UK to stay in Europe’: Four in 10 adults aged 18 to 24 are ‘firmly in favour’ of membership, poll shows
Fox News presenter tells viewers it is a 'fact' that both Jesus and Santa Claus are white
You can STILL be jailed for being a republican, government confirms, and it remains illegal to even 'imagine' overthrowing the Queen
Kiss and yell: Italian protester charged with sexual assault after kissing riot police officer
Fighting back: the woman giving a voice (and 49,999 others) to the victims of sexism - by giving an airing to their horror stories
PM denies two child limit for benefits is part of Tory welfare policy
- 1 America's 'virgin births'? One in 200 mothers 'became pregnant without having sex'
- 2 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 3 Ian Watkins: Paedophile Lostprophets singer sentenced to 35 years for child sex offences, as judge labels him a 'dangerous sexual predator'
- 4 Christmas has come early: Justin Bieber announces he's 'retiring from music'
- 5 Children evacuated from swimming pool after prosthetic leg mistaken for paedophile
- < Previous
- Next >