Monday, April 30, 2012

LAMBS In The Director’s Chair: Ang Lee

For those who don’t know, The LAMB has a series where bloggers get together each month to write reviews of a particular director’s work. Here at Never Too Early Movie Predictions, I look forward instead of backward, so I thought it might be fun to look ahead at what the director of the month has coming up on his calendar for the next several years.

This month’s director is Ang Lee, Oscar winner for his direction of Brokeback Mountain, and nominee for his work on Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, The Wedding Banquet and Eat Drink Man Woman.

Lee’s upcoming film is Life Of Pi, about a boy who is shipwrecked with a tiger, a zebra, an orangutan and a hyena on a small life boat. The novel was written by Yann Martel, and combines an adventure tale with deep religious themes. The title role will be played by newcomer Suraj Sharma, with the rest of the human cast consisting of several international stars including Tobey Maguire, Gerard Depardieu, Tabu, Adil Hussain, Irrfan Khan and Ayush Tandon.

I have high hopes for this film, especially when we begin to consider the talent that Lee has assembled behind the scenes, including Oscar nominees David Magee for the screenplay, Claudio Miranda for cinematography, and David Gropman for production design. Another category to watch for is Visual Effects, as IMDB lists over 360 members of the visual effects crew, working on everything from the major characters who are animals, to water and ocean effects that are rumored to be groundbreaking. Critics have been raving about early footage released at CinemaCon, so much so that this may be a film that I actually spring for the extra 3-D price!

Ang Lee is also signed on as a producer for Woo-ping Yuen’s The Hands Of Shang Chi, a Marvel comics Kung-Fu master whose father is a criminal. Marvel Enterprises and DreamWorks are the production company, but we’ll have to wait and see if it can get an easter egg at the end of one of the better known superhero films.

So readers, what do you think of Ang Lee’s Oscar chances for these upcoming films? Let me know in the comments!

You can keep track of Ang Lee’s Oscar chances for each of these projects on my Director And Screenplay page.
Read what my fellow LAMBS have written about Ang Lee.
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  1. The actress Tabu who plays Pi's mom is seriously
    good actress.I loved her performance in Namesake and some of the other Indian films.Im looking forward for this film.Ang Lee should make more film ,such a talented Director.


    1. I agree. I think that this film could really take a lot of people by surprise, given the quality of actors and crew, but the fact that some of them like Tabu aren't as well known in the US, but are quite talented and famous in other parts of the world. It will also help the film at the international box office.

  2. EXCELLENT write up, my friend. I cannot wait to see Life of Pi. I read an interview with Lee last week that says all the early hype scares him, and that he's just trying to tell unique stories in unique ways, which I think he'll definitely do.

    1. Thanks Alex.

      It seems like all directors fall back on that line about "just want to tell stories." It is partially true of course (and perhaps especially for Lee, who usually works away from the Hollywood scene), but as I'm learning more and more, I'm starting to realize that this is also a form of publicity, and sort of a standard "accepted" way to answer questions about buzz.

      Sort of like saying "It's an honor to be nominated."

      Now that I think about it, this might give me an idea for an essay post someday, on "Top Oscar Lines That May Or May Not Be True."