Suraj Sharma captured the hearts of moviegoers everywhere as the star of Ang Lee's adaptation of "Life of Pi" (2012), a mind-bending tale of a young castaway adrift at sea with a predatory animal. A n...
The holidays: a time to celebrate the joys of life, a time to give thanks for the things we have, a time to embrace the ones we love.
Also, a time to entertain all those relatives you forgot you had — "Wait, Uncle who?!"
While the end of the year offers opportunities for families to come together, the cheerful window of time is also prime for exploding personality collisions. To avoid a gravy boat flying at any of your heads this holiday season, Hollywood.com advises simply grabbing the nearest relative and heading to the cornucopia of new movie releases that will be hitting theaters over the next month and a half. But not just any movie is fit for any relative. Which ones will keep your spectrum of family members at ease during the chaos of the holiday season? Check out our rundown that should ensure that everyone stays cool long enough to slice up some turkey and keep a smile on their face until dessert:
For the Little Kid Who Just Stopped Believing in Santa: Rise of the Guardians (Nov. 21)
The holidays can be an especially turbulent time for the young person who just developed his or her cynical side. To keep the magic going just a little bit longer, track down the biggest Pixy Stix you can find and sit the nonbeliever down for the 90-minute Rise of the Guardians, which transforms their favorite holiday mascots into a superhero team worthy of The Avengers. When they see Russian Santa (voiced by Alec Baldwin) fighting off the Boogieman's demon horses with two over-sized cutlasses, they'll be completely reinvested.
For the Grandmother Who Thinks You've Lost Complete Faith in a Higher Power: Life of Pi (Nov. 21)
When it comes to winter holidays, there's a little something for everyone — the highly religious, the secular, and everything in between. But what's almost always true is that, no matter how dedicated you are to whatever path you've picked, your grandmother wishes you were just a smidgen more serious about it. Here's how to win her back: buy two tickets to Life of Pi and enjoy the emotional journey of a boy and his tiger, trapped at sea with nothing but faith. Pi Patel (Suraj Sharma) grew up studying Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, and was always looking for more. In the end, the movie is more about being human than anything, but should play nicely to whatever world views Grandma has aligned herself with. Crisis averted.
For the Twitchy Cousin Who's a Little Too Into Guns: Red Dawn (Nov. 21)
Was it necessary to bring a crossbow to Thanksgiving dinner? Probably not — but, hey, whatever keeps the twice-removed genealogical link from using the family pet for target practice. If the hunting enthusiast needs a break from the action, take him or her out to Red Dawn, a remake that once again sees high school students forming their own militia to take down invading foreign forces. The 2nd Amendment will not better promoted in 2012.
For Gramps, Who Only Talks About the Good Ol' Days: Hyde Park on the Hudson (Dec. 7)
If Grandpa's 18th consecutive story about walking uphill in the snow without shoes everyday just to get to school (even though he lived in Florida?) starts to grate on your mental state, take the patriarch out for a good time at the nickelodeon with a showing of Hyde Park on the Hudson. The biopic of Franklin D. Roosevelt doesn't dive too deep into the life of the three-term President, opting to let star Bill Murray slather the film with charm. The history and period costuming should win over Grandpa, but the aging Roosevelt's womanizing exploits won't hurt either.
For the Younger Sibling Obsessed with Young Adult Fiction: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Dec. 14)
Harry Potter has been over for a year. Twilight is over. Beautiful Creatures and The Mortal Instruments don't arrive until next year. What is the young adult fiction addict supposed to do during the dead time of winter?!? Easy: go back to the stuff that shaped the genre in the first place. Remind your family's fantasy-aholic that there was a time before the current YAF Renaissance and take them to the magical world of Middle Earth this winter when Peter Jackson's first Hobbit tale, An Unexpected Journey arrives in theaters. Amazingly, if your little bro or sis is young enough, they may have missed the wonders of the original Lord of the Rings movies
For the Loving, But Slightly Overbearing Mother: The Guilt Trip (Dec. 19)
Moms: can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em. A family gathering can be a pressure cooker for a mother and child relationship, but luckily this holiday season, Barbra Streisand and Seth Rogen have combined forces to deliver the epic tale of familial relationships that should remind us why any holiday argument ends in hugs. A road trip movie that attempts to understand the bittersweet relationship, Guilt Trip, looks like a true cinematic Mitzvah.
For the Soon-to-Be Married Future In-Law: This Is 40 (Dec. 21)
Everyone gets protective over their engaged family members — will this intruder, the "significant other," take care of the family's flesh and blood? It's a typical reaction, and while there will certainly be plenty of dinner table hazing to torture the newcomer, suspicions can be laid to rest by taking the future brother/sister-in-law to Judd Apatow's latest comedy This Is 40. Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann star as a married couple hitting the 40-year-old mark, a milestone in a marriage's evolution into comfortability. Meaning, there's a significant amount of the couple going to the bathroom in front of each other in the trailer alone. The movie should prove a wake-up call for the soon-to-be-hitched family member.
For the Short Guy in the Family: Jack Reacher (Dec. 21)
No longer will the shortest member of the pack overcompensate at the dinner table with loud jokes and ill-tempered spats. Now we have Jack Reacher, a movie that uses movie magic to defy physical reason and turn 5'7" Tom Cruise into a badass, muscle car-driving antihero. Buckle up with your resident short guy for a holiday ride that should have him or her beaming by the end. Size doesn't matter when Cruise is beating the living daylights out of bad guy Werner Herzog.
For the Crazy Uncle Who Reminds You Why Regional Stereotypes Exist: Django Unchained (Dec. 25)
Holidays manage to reap family members from the furthest branches of the tree, so if (or when?) the kooky uncle you can't recall ever meeting drives his RV right up on your lawn Cousin Eddie-style, remember: there's a movie for the two of you to see and bond over. Catch Django Unchained, which turns Leonardo DiCaprio into a Colonel Sanders-esque Southern gent with a crazy giggle that sends chills down the spine. Whether your uncle laughs at the larger-than-life character or relates to it, you'll at least have talking points afterward.
For the Teenage Cousin with Big New York City Dreams: Les Miserables (Dec. 25)
While most of the family will spend time swapping stories about the ups and downs of reality, there's usually one person whose ambition and innocence balances things out with positive vibes. Sure, it has everyone in the room rolling their eyes, and the jazz hands routinely knock over the three wine glasses, but the teen ends up being the embodiment of the holidays: nothing can get them down! Continue to fuel their dreams — hopeless or not — by taking them to Les Miserables, an adaptation of the Broadway musical that mixes hummable tunes with high drama.
Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches
[Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox; The Weinstein Company]
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The teenager spent two years making the movie adaptation of Yann Martel's beloved novel and then returned to his studies in India.
And Sharma admits the film could be a one-hit wonder for him because he fell into acting after attending an audition with his brother and isn't convinced it's what he wants to do after college.
He says, "I probably will act again but I'm still not sure about the whole thing. I wanna tell stories eventually but I don't know what's gonna happen. I'm gonna wait and see."
And Sharma admits any credit he gets for the film is all down to his director - because Lee taught him everything he knows about acting to green screens and imaginary tigers.
Sharma tells U.S. news show Access Hollywood Live, "I've never acted before, so, for me, I don't know what it's like acting opposite somebody else. I got trained by Ang... so this is all I really know."
There is a lot that could go wrong with a big screen adaptation of Life of Pi, the 2001 bestselling novel by Yaan Martel. Which may explain why the story of a young boy stranded on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger — juggling deep themes of religion, family, nature, and human existence — has been developed and let go by many big names in Hollywood. For nearly a decade, filmmakers like M. Night Shyamalan, Alfonso Cuarón, and Jean-Pierre Jeunet (Amélie) have grappled with the project, but it wasn't until Oscar-winner Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) that the film was fully realized.
Lee's Life of Pi is an inspiring film sporting imaginative visuals and pushing the art of 3D in new directions. Even more impressive is what's underneath it all: a character-driven narrative that depicts the book's grand ideas with unexpected tenderness.
The opening film of the 50th New York Film Festival, Life of Pi dreams big. Thanks to Lee's expert direction and a solid script from David Magee (Finding Neverland), the survivor tale avoids the pitfalls of such an ambitious effort, never straying into hokey melodrama. The film opens with a writer (Rafe Spall) visiting Pi Patel (Irrfan Khan) at his home in Canada, after being told that the Indian immigrant had an amazing life story in need of capturing. "Amazing" may not be enough of a superlative. Young Pi (newcomer Suraj Sharma) begins his life as a regular kid in Pondicherry, India, growing up on his family's bustling zoo while attempting to fit in with the world around him. His major struggle is with religion — while his father resents faith and his mother is dedicated to Hinduism, Pi wants a little of it all. He's Hindu, he's Catholic, he's Muslim, he's a wanderer between all ways of thinking. When he attempts to feed the zoo's tiger, only to be caught by his father and disciplined for considering the beast to be anything remotely soulful. It's clear that his upbringing in the lush environment has seeped deep into Pi's way of life.
The main character's passion for the world around him gives Lee the opportunity to direct Life of Pi with a painter's eye. Nearly every shot is exquisitely composed — from bold colors to camera movement to the layers of 3D. This holds true even when Pi's story takes a turn for the worse. Having run into financial troubles, the Patel family packs up the animals and heads to Winnipeg on a French freighter. While crossing the Mariana Trench, the ship encounters a catastrophic storm that floods it into oblivion (a moment of disaster that rivals the artistic destruction of Titanic). Pi and a few of the animal passengers escape on a lifeboat, the glow of his past life slowly fading away into the depths of the Ocean. The set piece is gorgeous, but Lee never forgets the impact the incident has on Pi's life. It's indicative of the entire film.
The brunt of the story focuses on the man vs. nature we've seen in films like 128 Hours and Cast Away, but in an even more terrifying landscape and played out with an expressionistic touch. Pi finds himself on a lifeboat with the Bengal tiger, "Richard Parker," lowering the already minuscule chance of his survival to something unimaginable. He copes, building a second raft out of wood planks and life preservers, but his survival is a ticking clock. All he can do is sit, fish, write, and pray.
Lee approaches Pi's journey of floating in the middle of the Pacific with a jungle cat like a fever dream. Like the swirling universe he imagines as the residence of his various gods, the deserted ocean is a luminescent wonder, filled with giant whales, glowing jellies, flying fish, and deep caverns that unlock Pi's wild imagination.
All the while, Pi tends to his tiger; their brotherly relationship is the core of Life of Pi. Sharma has heavy material to tackle for his big screen debut, but even with its weak moments, stands as a tremendous breakout. Over time, Pi loses himself to the ocean, reaching for understanding and investing more and more in his feline companion. It's a physically demanding performance too — Lee always pelting something new at his young actor and Sharma shining through even the biggest wave. The tiger is another marvel, a CG creation that actually performs against Sharma. If Caeser in Rise of the Planet of the Apes was a milestone, Richard Parker is the next step. On top of the central duo, Magee's framing device of Older Pi and the writer works miraculously well, thanks to the natural skills of Khan and Spall. Exposition be damned — these two can have a casual conversation that feels as dynamic as the larger than life tale they're discussing.
Life of Pi arrives in theaters on November 21 and as all the makings of the perfect holiday film. On a visceral level, it's simply a beautiful movie (any live-action film that evokes memories of Hokusai's The Great Wave is doing something right). But Lee transcends flashy blockbuster contemporaries by finding a source material where the breathtaking compliments the character's arc. Life of Pi isn't an overtly religious film, even though Pi identifies with religions of all kinds. It's about the power of self, the religion of humanism. There are few feats of mortal strength as impressive as survival. That's what makes Life of Pi one of the most powerful films of the year.
Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches
[Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox(2)]
More:New 'Life Of Pi' Trailer: That's One Visually Epic Movie — TRAILER'Life of Pi' First Look: A Man and a Tiger Are On a Boat... — PHOTONew York Film Festival 2012 Line-up: 'Life of Pi,' Bill Murray's FDR and More
The first trailer for the Ang Lee-directed adaptation of the Yann Martel novel Life Of Pi gave us a quick glimpse into the rich storytelling to be brought to life in this seemingly-epic new film. Now, as a lead-up to its premiere at the New York Film Festival on Friday, a second trailer has been released on Yahoo. And while probably half of the imagery remains the same, a bigger picture is presented at twice the speed of the last. Hello sensory overload, thy name is Life Of Pi!
The sweeping new clip is set to the ethereal music of Sigur Ros, and finished up with a quick one-two punch from Coldplay's recent hit "Paradise," which adds to the clanging, dazzling beauty the trailer presents.
The film--which will surprise no one to learn is being presented in 3D--tells the story of an Indian boy named Pi and the adventures he endures after a devastating shipwreck strands him in the middle of the ocean on a teeny-tiny boat with a cavalcade of critters for 227 days.
The film stars Irfan Khan, Gérard Depardieu, Suraj Sharma and Adil Hussain.
Life Of Pi will be released on November 21st, 2012.
[Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox]
Follow Alicia on Twitter @alicialutes
'Life of Pi' First Look: A Man and a Tiger Are On a Boat... — PHOTO
'Life of Pi' Trailer: Shipwrecks and Tigers and Whales. Oh My!
New York Film Festival 2012 Line-up: 'Life of Pi,' Bill Murray's FDR and More
So, obviously, you're dealing with a run-of-the-mill human drama here.
Below is the first image from Ang Lee's upcoming film Life of Pi, an adaptation of the modern classic novel by Yann Martel. In the new photo we find newcomer Suraj Sharma as Pi Patel, the seafaring hero of the story, alongside his travel companion Richard Parker (that would be the giant tiger.)
Life of Pi is a spiritual fantasy that takes its hero through adventures with a variety of people and animals, examines different religions, and delving into psychology and human and animal nature.
The upcoming film will also star Tobey Maguire as the novel's author Yann Martel, and Gérard Depardieu as a Frenchman Pi meets during his travels.
What's your first impression of Life of Pi? Was this what The Lonely Island had in mind?
Ang Lee Casts Newcomer Suraj Sharma in 3D Life of Pi
Tobey Maguire Added to Life of Pi
Life of Pi Adds Three Actors
For those wondering what the Apocalypse will sound like, it’ll be Armie Hammer and Johnny Depp pretending to be the Lone Ranger and Tonto in the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced remake of the classic show. Disney set the movie for a Decemeber 21, 2012 release, just in time to watch the Mayans return to kill us all or witness an asteroid hitting earth or whatever is predicted to end the world.
So, the good news is that you get to go out in style with Hammer's Lone Ranger and Depp's Tonto. Or if that is not your style, you have the choice of Judd Apatow’s Knocked Up spinoff or Ang Lee’s Life of Pi to entertain you as you drift off into the sweet ether of the Apocalypse.
Source: Hollywood Reporter
Ang Lee looks to reunite with Toby Maguire for his adaptation of the novel Life of Pi, set to hit theaters in December 2012. Lee's 3D film also stars newbie Suraj Sharma as young Pi, Irrfan Khan (Slumdog Millionaire) as adult Pi, and Maguire will play the man who interviews Pi about his journey. In the story, Pi is cast off in a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger and lives to tell the tale. Lee is happy to have a third opportunity to work with Maguire, he said, "I am delighted that Tobey has joined the film. He is one of my favorite actors that I have had the pleasure of working with and I am so excited that we get to work together for the third time."
Irrfan Khan, Gerard Depardieu, and Adil Hussain have all joined Life of Pi -- you know, that movie based on that book by Yann Martel about the kid who travels across the Pacific Ocean in a life boat with a Bengal Tiger. Variety reports that Khan will play an adult Pi, Hussain stars as Pi's father, and Depardieu takes the role of The Chef. Directed by Ang Lee, the movie already stars newcomer Suraj Sharma as Pi and Bollywood actress Tabu is in talks to play his mother.
As a lover of the book, I endorse these casting announcements. Khan is an experienced actor who plays a very solid "wise-man" role, and that's the type of person I've always pictured the grown Pi as. And Depardieu? That dude (see left) looks terrifying -- like, I-better-not-let-my-nephews-near-him type terrifying, which is perfect, because The Chef is one scary motherfucker.
Anyway, there's still no word if Tony the Tiger will accept his offer for the Bengal Tiger.
Ang Lee has cast 17-year-old newcomer Suraj Sharma in the title role for his big-screen adaptation of Yann Martel's Life of Pi.
Lee selected Sharma from among 3,000 actors who auditioned for the part in the Fox 2000 film. Shooting on the fantasy adventure is to start early next year.
Sharma is a student who lives with his mathematician parents in Delhi, Variety notes. His previous experience, says USA Today, includes having acted once in a school play.
Life of Pi will be Lee's first 3D film. The script is by David Magee with Gill Netter producing. Fox will release on Dec. 14, 2012.
Pi tells the story of a boy lost at sea in shark-infested waters for 227 days in a lifeboat with four unusual and increasingly hungry companions -- a Bengal tiger, a hyena, a zebra and an orangutan.
Per Variety, the novel, winner of the Man Booker Prize, was a global publishing phenomenon when Fox 2000's Elizabeth Gabler acquired rights. At that point, M. Night Shyamalan was attached to direct, but he exited early on because of scheduling conflicts.
Though Lee and Fox execs did not disclose the budget, Lee told USA Today he asked for more than $50 million. "It's expensive to shoot in 3-D," Lee told the paper. "I know it's a great burden on me, but the story kept haunting me, and 3-D was the way for me to crack the book."
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Accompanied brother to an audition during last year of high school; ended up landing role of Pi Patel in "Life of Pi," directed by Ang Lee
Made feature film debut, playing title character in Lee's feature adaptation of "The Life of Pi"
Suraj Sharma captured the hearts of moviegoers everywhere as the star of Ang Lee's adaptation of "Life of Pi" (2012), a mind-bending tale of a young castaway adrift at sea with a predatory animal. A native of New Delhi, India, Sharma had no acting experience before he was cast in the film, which was based on Yann Martel's 2001 best-selling fantasy novel of the same name. Accompanying his older brother to an audition, Sharma was encouraged to try out himself and wound up landing the lead role. After beating out 3,000 hopefuls, Sharma had to spend 10 months in Taiwan training to act opposite an imaginary tiger and learning how to breathe underwater for more than a minute. He was also required to gain and then lose a drastic amount of weight. All his hard work paid off, as evidenced by the glowing reviews he received for his film debut as Pi Patel, a young man who learns how to survive being stranded in a lifeboat in the Pacific Ocean after the ship carrying his family and their zoo animals sinks. Adrift at sea for 227 days, his only companion for most of the journey is a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker, with whom he struggles to steer clear of. Sharma brought to life a character who struggles with practical matters like how to get fresh water as he also questions humanity and religion. Sharma's debut earned him critical acclaim, as well as plenty of awards buzz that year.<p><i>By Candy Cuenco</i>