Los Angeles, Dec. 11 (CNA) Oscar-winning director Ang Lee's lyrical epic "Life of Pi" has won nine nominations for the 18th Critics' Choice Movie Awards.
The movie's nomination for best picture was seen as recognition of the admirable qualities in Lee's latest film, a 3D exploration of faith about a shipwrecked boy adrift on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger.
The Taiwan-born, U.S.-based director himself earned a nomination for best director, and Suraj Sharma, a teenage Indian actor who played the shipwrecked boy in the film, was nominated for best young actor/actress.
"Life of PI," adapted from Canadian novelist Yann Martel's best-selling 2001 novel of the same name, also got nods for adapted screenplay, cinematography, art direction, editing, visual effects and score.
The film, about 70 percent of which was shot in Taiwan, will compete with Dream Works' historical drama "Lincoln," which earned a record-breaking 13 nominations, and other blockbusters such as "Les Miserables" (11 nods), "Silver Linings Playbook" (10 nods) and "Argo" (seven nods) for the best picture accolade.
Lee, 58, will vie with Steven Spielberg ("Lincoln"), Tom Hooper ("Les Miserables"), David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook), Ben Affleck ("Argo") and Kathryn Bigelow ("Zero Dark Thirty") for the best director title.
The winners of the Critics' awards will be announced at a ceremony on Jan. 10, 2013, the same day that nominations for the Oscars -- the most prestigious awards in the film industry -- will be announced.
Last year, the Broadcast Film Critics Association nominated all nine of the films that ultimately were nominated for the best picture Oscar (plus one other that was not).
"Life of Pi" made it through the preliminary round for nominations for the 2013 Oscar in the visual effects category, according to a Nov. 30 announcement by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
"Life of Pi" has also been selected by Time magazine as the third-best movie of the year, and it was named by the American Film Institute on Dec. 10 as one of the top 10 movies of 2012.
Besides critical acclaim, the film has also scored box-office success.
"Life of Pi" has been the top-grossing film in China since its Nov. 22 premiere there, according to Chinese media reports.
China Film News statistics said the film had made 440 million Chinese yuan (about US$70.41 million) at the box office as of Dec. 9, outperforming famous Chinese director Fang Xiaogang's historic blockbuster "Back to 1942," which grossed about 300 million yuan during the same three-week period.
According to Chinese media reports, "Life of Pi" was the second Hollywood movie to gross more in China than in the United States. The first was the 3D version of Titanic.
"Life of Pi" is currently the ninth-highest grossing film in the United States in the fourth quarter of the year, with total receipts of US$61.6 million so far, according to the website Box Office Mojo.
In Taiwan, the film had raked in more than NT$220 million as of Dec. 7.
(By Oscar Wu and Sofia Wu)