It’s officially prime harvesting time for the bountiful crop of this year’s best Oscar contenders, and among the frontrunners, Ang Lee’s LIFE OF PI is already being positioned by experts towards a very comfortable spot near the top of the pile. Ben Affleck’s ARGO is also a major force to be reckoned with (read more about ARGO’s brilliance by CLICKING HERE), as are Silver Linings Playbook (Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence), and The Master (Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman). But when LIFE OF PI made its North American premiere at the New York Film Festival last Friday, in many ways it sucked all of the oxygen out of the room from its competitors. In a feature article published earlier today in The Playlist, Oliver Lyttelton writes:
“… [‘LIFE OF PI’] seems to be technically impeccable (cinematography and effects nods at least seem certain, and Mychael Danna’s score has won praise), and the use of 3D — which has won James Cameron and Martin Scorsese nods in the last few years — is said to be glorious, putting Lee himself, already a two-time nominee and one-time winner, in a good place too. Furthermore, it’s the kind of deeply emotional fare that always goes down well with the Academy. To us, it feels like it’s a more traditionally Oscar-type movie than either David O Russell’s ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ or Ben Affleck’s ‘ARGO’ … Technically, ‘LIFE OF PI’ is said to be such a dazzling marvel that, like ‘INCEPTION’ or ‘AVATAR’, it could sweep that type of category as well as Best Picture, Director and the other usual suspects. Where it’s a less natural fit is for things like Costume Design and Production Design. While many reviews have pointed to the screenplay as the weakest link in the film, the book was labelled as ‘unfilmable’ by many so that will only help its case (though it should be noted it’s a very crowded field in the Best Adapted Screenplay category this year as well).”
You can read Oliver’s entire terrific breakdown of why LIFE OF PI’s odds are so high for a potential Oscar sweep by visting The Playlist. And definitely worth checking out is The Playlist’s most current ranking of its Top 20 strongest Oscar contenders for Best Picture (see page #2 of the article). Ang Lee’s LIFE OF PI opens in North America on November 21st.