Ang Lee's CGI-saddled "Life of Pi" premieres tonight at the New York Film Festival, and, as you might expect from a 3-D adaptation of a novel full of allegory and computer-generated critters, the early reviews are all over the map.
Hollywood Reporter film critic Todd McCarthy, a longtime booster of "Pi" director Lee, called the film a "gorgeous and accomplished rendering of the massive best-seller." Lee's "fingerprints are at once invisible and yet all over the film," McCarthy added, "in the tact, intelligence, curiosity and confidence that characterizes the undertaking."
The movie, like the Yann Martel novel, follows a young man (Suraj Sharma) shipwrecked at sea with a Bengal tiger. Given Lee's resume, you knew some critic would utilize a certain play on words in a review. Variety's Justin Chang obliges:
"A literal crouching tiger is merely one of many visual wonders in Ang Lee's 'Life of Pi,'" Chang wrote, "a gently transporting work of all-ages entertainment that melds a harrowing high-seas adventure with a dreamy meditation on the very nature of storytelling."