Ang Lee

Best Director

I’ll say what everyone’s been saying: Tarantino and Affleck got robbed. Both directors are more deserving than my choice of the nominees, Ang Lee for “Life of Pi,” but I’ll work with what I have.

Lee deserves to win for transforming Yann Martel’s overrated, heavy-handed novel into an impeccably crafted visual masterpiece. The obvious Oscar parallel here is James Cameron in 2009—neither “Avatar” nor “Life of Pi” have inherently compelling or original plots, which means that it is that much more important to engross the viewer with innovative images and effects. Cameron succeeded in bringing the planet Pandora to life on a grand scale, and the scenes from “Pi” on the Pacific Ocean are similarly awe-inspiring. Both movies are also two rare examples for which 3D enhanced the experience rather than detracting from it, and a lot of credit goes to the directors for that.

“Life of Pi” isn’t one of the year’s best movies, and it isn’t one of Lee’s best movies either. However, Lee had the trickiest task of any of this year’s nominees, and he pulled it off with pizzazz.

—Staff writer Will Holub-Moorman can be reached at holubmoorman@college.harvard.edu.

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