Zero Dark Thirty


Happy New Year first of all!  Who’s down to start the year with a string of reviews of (mostly) Oscar caliber movies?  Me too!  Let’s start with one of the frontrunners…

Zero Dark Thirty is the dramatized version of the manhunt and eventual capture of Osama bin Laden.  Directed by Kathryn Bigelow off of a script written by Mark Boal, the film stars Jessica Chastain as the CIA agent who spearheads the manhunt that eventually leads to finding the most wanted man in the world.  Chastain definitely wouldn’t have been the first actress I would have in mind to play the career woman who, more often than not through confidence, talent and sheer force of personality, wills her way through a tightly run, male dominated industry who’s telling her at nearly every turn to give it up.  And I would be extremely surprised if I’m the only one who connected the main character’s arc (who is based on a real person) to what I imagine the director has seen in her own career trajectory.

The film itself, like The Hurt Locker before it, is a tightly told tale with few frills (for what would probably be categorized as a ‘war/action film’.)  Like many above average films these days, the supporting cast is filled with high quality character actors that you will recognize from different television shows.  In terms of how political I find the film, I actually agree with those who think that both sides of the spectrum can point to things in the film that support their side (torture to get results from the previous administration, gathering as many facts as possible before pulling the trigger (literally) from the current President.)

Best Picture, Director and Original Screenplay are all locks; I have a lot to see but I’m pretty sure Best Actress is in the bag too.  Must see film for this season.

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