-The film with the most nominations usually wins Best Picture. This year it was Lincoln with 12, however, Life of Pi is RIGHT up there with 11. No other films received nearly as many nominations
-Every Best Picture winner generally gets nominations for Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Editing (in addition to Best Picure) - this year the only films to do this were Lincoln, SIlver Linings Playbook, and Life of Pi
-Life of Pi got nominated in a broad range of categories. Even though it takes place largely on a boat, it still got a Best Art Direction nomination - and even though it's not an action movie it still got nominations for Best Sound Mixing & Sound Editing. This shows broad support for the film in general. (For example - The Hurt Locker did not really have an original score, mostly sound effects, but it still got nominated at the Oscars for Best Original Score, and it won Best Picture. Same with the King's Speech receiving an Oscar nomination for Best Sound Mixing)
-It got a nomination for Best Cinematography - which Best Picture winners usually receive (Lincoln did, as well)
There are of course detractors (not receiving a Best Ensemble nomination at the SAG Awards) - but it is in a very good position to win as of now!