22 December 2012 4:06 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

The versatile Ang Lee brings Yann Martel's tale of shipwreck and spirituality to the big screen in magnificent fashion

The Taiwan-born Ang Lee rapidly established himself in the 1990s as one of the world's most versatile film-makers, moving on from the trilogy of movies about Chinese families that made his name to Jane Austen's England (Sense and Sensibility) and Richard Nixon's America (The Ice Storm). If he revisits a place or genre it's to tell a very different story – a martial arts movie in medieval China (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) is followed by a spy thriller in wartime Shanghai (Lust, Caution), and a western with a Us civil war background (Ride With the Devil) is succeeded by a western about a gay relationship in present-day Wyoming (Brokeback Mountain).

He adopts different styles to fit his new subjects, and while there are certain recurrent themes, among them the »

- Philip French

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