Oscars: Zero Dark Thirty
Zero Dark Thirty is the infamous film documenting the hunt and eventual killing of Osama bin Laden and it has been attracting a lot of controversy from the U.S. government over its portrayal of torture. While politics seems to be halting a lot of the Oscar buzz it received in its December limited release, the film is still one of the powerhouses of 2012 with nominations for Best Actress, Screenplay, Sound Editing and Film Editing to go along with its Best Picture nod.
Jessica Chastain plays fresh-off-the-boat CIA analyst, Maya, who has been assigned to the U.S. embassy in Pakistan to “interrogate” al-Qaeda members and sift through CIA intel in the search for bin Laden. The film immediately throws you into the thick of Bush-era “advanced-interrogation” and these scenes are not for the weak of heart. Director Kathryn Bigelow gives a clinical examination of this period with a distinctly inhumane feeling to match the atrocity on screen. The story then spans almost ten years until the famous raid goes down on a compound in northeast Pakistan.
The fact that everyone in the world knows exactly how this story ends made it a challenge for the film makers to create an intense and thrilling account. They succeeded by giving us many of the details we would not have been privy to and creating suspense around the smaller victories that eventually led to the death of the most wanted man of the new millennium.