Enter the World of Pi with New Site, Digital Download


Fox has launched a brand new site for the DVD/Blu-Ray launch of Life of Pi, available for digital download and purchase March 12.

The site does a nice job capturing the fluid beauty of Pi, which caught the tinyest whiff of controversy  after winning the Oscar for Director, Visual Effects, Cinematography and Score — since Ang Lee didn’t thank the visual effects team on the movie. But you know, maybe it’s ignorance on my part but what enthralled me most about Pi wasn’t the visual effects. Yes, I know as audiences we are trained to stare in admiration at them but the reason Pi stands out, and Hugo stood out last year, was because the story was powerful in its own right. This, as opposed to Avatar where the visual effects really did make the movie. What Pi offered to me was enhanced by visual effects but truly it was the acting, writing and directing that stood out. Either which way, the visual effects team won a well-deserved Oscar.

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  1. Astarisborn
    March 2, 2013

    Thank you Sasha for adknowledging the acting. Sharma and Khan deserved recognition.

  2. Astarisborn
    March 2, 2013

    Acknowledging. I was always the fist to be seated during spelling bee.

  3. March 2, 2013

    Even Spielberg fans cannot complain too much that Ang Lee won. If ‘Life Of Pi’ is a top 10 film it is because of his direction. It was nice that Lee in his acceptance thanked his Indian crew and also acknowledged that Suraj Sharma was the true star of the film.

    It is also impressive that while David O Russell campaigned madly in vain both Lee and Spielberg were calm during the campaigning period. The best director race was between two filmmakers who know that an Oscar is not the be all and end all of film. How wonderful! I hope it stays that way for the next season.

  4. steve50
    March 2, 2013

    It’s a shame that Rhythm & Hues went bankrupt the same day they won the Oscar for VFX. That’s what they were trying to announce when the orchestra played them off.

  5. Tero Heikkinen
    March 2, 2013

    Seriously cool.

  6. Ryan Griffin
    March 2, 2013

    The acting and story were (for most of the runtime) up to par, but the movie wouldn’t have been a success if the effects weren’t as good as they were. You put an unconvincing tiger in the boat with him, make it obvious he’s in a tank or studio against blue screen, and then you’d get pulled right out of it.

  7. daveinprogress
    March 2, 2013

    The cinematography was just brilliant all the way through the movie. One unforgettable image after another. The effects of course were mindboggling, but Lee’s direction and Miranda’s camera work matched the narrative and prosaic style so perfectly. And yes, young Suraj was pretty awesome, especially as he had never acted before. In this case the sum of all of the parts were equally as wonderful as the whole of the film.

  8. March 2, 2013

    I only ran across this video interview with Suraj Sharma yesterday. Wish I had found it and posted it in mid-January — but of course by mid-January the fate of every category had already been carved in stone.

    (Suraj answers these questions with such patience and sensitivity, I almost really don’t want to believe that it’s Anne Thompson who’s seriously asking questions like: “Controversially, there are two narratives in the movie and in the book. Why do we even need the second narrative?” …um, “controversially”? are you kidding me?)

  9. Watermelons
    March 2, 2013

    I’m kind of puzzled why there’s no mention of the core controversy at the center of the VFX anger: it’s NOT that they feel like Ang Lee didn’t give credit, it IS that their political voice was literally silenced during Westenhoger’s speech:

    “In his speech, Westenhofer tried to mention the protest going on outside the Oscars ceremony organized by former and current employees of the bankrupt “Life of Pi” VFX Rhythm & Hues.

    About 400 protesters gathered outside the Dolby Theatre on Sunday to bring awareness to Rhythm & Hues’ bankruptcy woes and to the need for unionization of the VFX industry, according to This month, over 250 employees of the house were fired without pay due to the crushing financial problems.”

    I know the Oscar might seem like the ~real ictory~ for the Life of Pi VFX team from an Awards Credit Controversy perspective, but the people left without jobs due to increasing forces of hostility from production studios probably don’t give a shit.

    This is a larger conversation, and I’m excited to see this site throw in about the necessity of Hollywood to wake up and tend to its own fucking garden.

  10. steve50
    March 2, 2013

    Thanks for posting that clip, Ryan. Great answers from Suraj!

    I guess something becomes “controversial” when one’s neurons can’t process it. Without the second narrative, the film loses meaning. Suraj’s answer to her was dead on perfect, though.

    I hope he does continue acting. He obviously has the talent and is blossoming into the looks.

  11. March 2, 2013

    …their political voice was literally silenced during Westenhoger’s speech:

    the minute that happened I tweeted this.

    Most people were already too deep into their wine by then to give me much RT action, but obviously the situation warrants more than a 140 snarl.

    Neither did I appreciate when the TV director broke away from the Visual Effects team to show Nicole Kidman saying, “poor thing.” Her reaction is fine, I guess, but it shows the program producers were more interested in exploiting how funny it would sound to have shark music crescendo and drown out the Oscar-winning victims.

    No time for the struggling “nobodies” responsible for making Pi’s magic happen. Plenty of time for dumb cutaway shots of all the millionaires getting a big laugh when the mic is cut in the middle of the only moment of substance in the whole first hour.

  12. daveinprogress
    March 2, 2013

    Thanks for the link to the Suraj clip. He is so self assured, and yet humble and youthful with his approach. Really lovely to listen to and watch :)
    Lee deserves his Oscar for just mentoring and elliciting such a believable and powerful performance from Suraj, let alone all the other million and one things he did to create this beautiful movie.

  13. steve50
    March 2, 2013

    I wish Westenhofer had started his speech with the announcement and his comments. The biggest names in the industry are sitting right in front of you and you are called to the podium to say something when your livelihood just went up in smoke.

    Screw thanking everybody. If only he had it to do over.

  14. Dwayne
    March 3, 2013

    The bankrupted company should actually thank Ang Lee for directing the film to its success, for making what they have achieved acknowledged by more people and most of the people, which should’ve led the company to a flourishing business. Now contrarily they’ve ruined themselves and want to pick on anything or anyone blamable. That is just mean.

  15. Jase
    March 3, 2013

    It says something about racism in Hollywood that Sharma and Khan weren’t even MENTIONED as lead and supporting actor contenders except by Sasha Stone and Nathaniel Rodgers (the most socially conscious Oscar bloggers out there). I’m not saying that not nominating them equals racism or that anyone who didn’t enjoy their performances is racist. But for them to not even be in the conversation as POTENTIAL contenders for nominations — not at any of the awards groups — despite starring in a major Best Picture contender, says a lot about how the Oscars and the Oscar Industrial Complex view performances by Asian and South Asian actors.

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