Oscar-winning director Ang Lee’s (李安) movie Life of Pi has elicited nine nominations for the 18th Critics’ Choice Movie Awards.
The movie’s nomination for best picture was seen as recognition of the admirable qualities in Lee’s latest film, a 3D exploration of faith about a shipwrecked boy adrift on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger.
The Taiwan-born Lee was nominated for best director and Suraj Sharma, a teenaged Indian actor who played the shipwrecked boy in the film, was nominated for best young actor/actress.
Life of Pi, adapted from novelist Yann Martel’s best-selling 2001 novel of the same name, also got nods for adapted screenplay, cinematography, art direction, editing, visual effects and score.
The film, about 70 percent of which was shot in Taiwan, will compete with DreamWorks’ historical drama Lincoln, which earned a record-breaking 13 nominations, and other blockbusters such as Les Miserables (11 nominations), Silver Linings Playbook (10) and Argo (seven) for the best picture accolade.
Lee, 58, will vie with Steven Spielberg (Lincoln), Tom Hooper (Les Miserables), David Russell (Silver Linings Playbook), Ben Affleck (Argo) and Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty) for the best director title.
The winners of the Critics’ Choice Awards will be announced on Jan. 10, the same day that nominations for the Oscars are due to be announced.
Last year, the Broadcast Film Critics Association had nominated all nine of the films that later vied for the best picture Oscar.
Life of Pi made it through the preliminary round for nominations for an Oscar in the visual effects category, according to a Nov. 30 announcement by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
The film has also been selected by Time magazine as the third-best movie of the year and was named by the American Film Institute on Monday as one of the top 10 movies of this year.
Besides critical acclaim, the film has also scored box-office success.
Life of Pi has been the top-grossing film in China since its Nov. 22 premiere, according to Chinese media reports.
China Film News said the film had made 440 million yuan (US$70.41 million) at the box office as of Sunday, outperforming Chinese director Fang Xiaogang’s (方曉罡) historic blockbuster Back to 1942, which grossed about 300 million yuan during the same period.
Life of Pi is currently the ninth-highest grossing film in the US in the fourth quarter, according to the Web site Box Office Mojo.
In Taiwan, the film had brought in more than NT$220 million (US$7.56 million) as of Friday.