Not sure about Life of Pi - a bit preachy and too much religion but was ok, it was mainly CGI so Best Director - I dunno.
Compared to the book it's actually less religious-centric than it could have been. The whole point of the story is the nature of belief contrasted with the cold brutality of nature - I felt both were toned down for the film.
Personally, from my perspective as a staunch atheist, I actually don't find The Life Of Pi (book or film) as an endorsement of religion. For me, the book portrays religious belief as a lie. A wondrous, splendid lie, but a lie nevertheless. It's asking whether you'd rather believe the beauty of a pretend world over the cold, harsh reality of truth. The set up allows it to pass judgement or condemnation on those who shun religion but it doesn't really do that either, and the way the central character embraces belief more than religion - by attaching himself to multiple religions - avoids tacit endorsement of organised faith.
That's my two bobs worth, and merely my opinion/perspective which is not absolute and possibly inaccurate.