Life of Pi has gotten a lot of acclaim, but has also earned a lot of controversy since its release. Adding his voice to the criticism is cinematographer Christopher Doyle, who said that the film’s Best Cinematography win at the 2013 Oscars was a “f—ing insult to cinematography.”
The Ang Lee-directed film won the most Oscars at the 85th annual Academy Awards on February 24, with a total of four. That’s more than Best Picture Argo and all of the other contenders. But not everyone in Hollywood is a fan of Life of Pi, with several controversies and even protests erupting within the industry.
For cinematographer Christopher Doyle, famous for his numerous collaborations with Hong Kong director Wong Kar-Wai, Life of Pi just isn’t a good example of his trade.
During a very unfiltered interview with Blouin, Doyle criticized the Academy’s selection of Claudio Miranda for Life of Pi for Best Cinematography. His primary complaint seemed to be that the film had too many visual effects (for which it also won an Oscar).
“I’m sure he’s a wonderful guy and I’m sure he cares so much, but since 97 percent of the film is not under his control, what the f–k are you talking about cinematography,” Doyle said. “I’m sorry. I have to be blunt and I don’t care, you can write it.”
Responding to Doyle’s comments with HuffPost Entertainment, Miranda simply said “I’m sorry he feels that way.”
Miranda’s work on Life of Pi was up against Janusz Kaminski for Lincoln, Robert Richardson for Django Unchained, Roger Deakins for Skyfall, and Seamus McGarvey for Anna Karenina.
Despite his criticism, Doyle said that he wasn’t all that surprised that Life of Pi won.
“No it’s not a strange choice if you understand how f–ked up people are and how lost they are,” he said of the Academy, and apparently people in general. “You bail out your bankers, support your rich people, you say Spielberg and Tarantino are the gods of cinema. Hey, good luck.”
Doyle’s last Hollywood movie was 2006’s Lady in the Water, though he is working on Magic Magic with Michael Cera, set to be released later this year.