"It's unfilmable! That was my initial thought when I read the book about 10 years ago," director Ang Lee says in our chat about "Life of Pi. "
However, two things made it possible. One was the use of 3D technology: "I thought, with another dimension, we might be able," he adds. Secondly, having two perspectives – adding an older Pi, who later recalls his amazing ocean adventure with a tiger in retrospect, and a young Pi, who lives it.
"You have two voices -- one that is mature, the other is innocent," Lee says.
And where does the voyage lead? That's best expressed by the young Pi – or at least the actor who portrays him, Suraj Sharma. He sums up the movie's message thus: "We need to save ourselves from harsh brutal reality. That's the point of the movie. Sometimes you need that disguise to protect yourself."
Being a website all about awards, Gold Derby just had to ask Lee about his bizarre experience at the 2005 Oscars when "Brokeback Mountain" lost Best Picture in a shocking upset to "Crash." Was it due to homophobia?
"Maybe feels like… could be. I don't know," he replies. "Maybe they thought it was safer to go with the social issue over homosexuality." Overall, Lee thinks other factors played roles, too, including, voter fatigue.
"We were frontrunner for so long … 'Crash' was catching up," he remembers. "The way they were doing their campaign – you could feel them catching up."