The 85th Oscars are in the books and there were a few surprises

Seth MacFarlane points the way as host of the 85th Oscars
Seth MacFarlane points the way as host of the 85th Oscars

There were a few surprises at the 85th Oscars (we aren’t supposed to call them the Academy Awards anymore, that’s apparently too ‘stuffy’) but one was Life of Pi which garnered four awards, including a Best Director Oscar for Ang Lee.  Argo won Best Picture and two other awards.  Its Best Picture win might have been helped by the snubbing of director Ben Affleck in the Best Director category.

Read moreThe 85th Oscars are in the books and there were a few surprises

‘Life of Pi’ more than just a 3D treat – it’s complex, profound and highly intelligent

The all-CGI Bengal tiger, Richard Parker, will have you believing in movie magic in 'Life of Pi'
The all-CGI Bengal tiger, Richard Parker, will have you believing in movie magic in ‘Life of Pi’

[rating=4]Starring:  Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan, Rafe Spall, Adil Hussain, Tabu, Shravanthi Sainath
Director(s):  Ang Lee
Writer(s):  Screenplay by David Magee, based upon the novel by Yann Martel

I’m a big proponent of reading the book before seeing the movie so I felt a bit hypocritical when I plunked down the $15 for my ticket to Life of Pi having no knowledge of the plot except for the snippets I caught in the trailers and the little I knew from my feeble attempt at reading it a few years ago. The novel, by Yann Martel, had won the Man Booker Prize and the movie, directed by Ang Lee, was getting rave review everywhere I looked, so I figured I couldn’t lose.

Read more‘Life of Pi’ more than just a 3D treat – it’s complex, profound and highly intelligent

Ang Lee’s ‘Life of Pi’ is magical and best seen in 3D

Pi (Suraj Sharma) and a Bengal tiger known as Richard Parker are stranded together on lifeboats in 'Life of Pi'
Pi (Suraj Sharma) and a Bengal tiger known as Richard Parker are stranded together on lifeboats in ‘Life of Pi’

[rating=4]Starring:  Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan, Rafe Spall, Adil Hussain, Tabu, Shravanthi Sainath
Director(s):  Ang Lee
Writer(s):  David Magee (screenplay), Yann Martel (novel)

Life of Pi is a fascinating tale of faith and survival told in flashback.  Rafe Spall plays the writer who goes to visit “Pi Patel” (Irrfan Khan) whose full name is Piscine Molitor Patel.  The story behind his name and how he manages to get others to refer to him as Pi are best experienced by viewing the film.

Read moreAng Lee’s ‘Life of Pi’ is magical and best seen in 3D

‘Brokeback Mountain’ is a lovely gay love story, and that’s not a bad thing

[rating=3]Starring: Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Linda Cardellini, Anna Faris, Anne Hathaway
Director(s): Ang Lee
Writer(s): Written by Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana; Based upon the short story by Annie Proulx

Jake Gyllenhaal, Heath Ledger and Michelle Williams in 'Brokeback Mountain'
Jake Gyllenhaal, Heath Ledger and Michelle Williams in ‘Brokeback Mountain’

Before I even got an opportunity to see Brokeback Mountain I’d heard all the jokes. All the gay cracks, all the “Poke-in-the-Back Mountain” puns. Every snide comments and ridiculous homophobic rant.

Yet most of the people I knew who had actually seen the film thought it was terrific. A beautiful story told well. So, putting those jokes aside, when I finally sat down to watch Brokeback on DVD, I didn’t quite know what I was going to think. Would I get turned away by the homosexual storyline, or would I be able to enjoy it for what it was — a tragic love story.

Read more‘Brokeback Mountain’ is a lovely gay love story, and that’s not a bad thing