Thursday, 17 January 2013

Best Picture Nominee - Zero Dark Thirty

The next of our nominee's comes from Academy Award winning Director Kathryn Bigelow and Academy Award winning screenplay writer Mark Boal.

The story follows the hunt for and eventual elimination of Osama Bin Laden in May 2011.

I won't go too much into the politics of this movie, but keep it technical. The movie for me had three distinct parts, the beginning was hard to watch, with a lot of the focus on the measures taken to obtain information from detainees, yes it was brutal but any criticism leveled at the film makers is wholly unjustified. The middle section of the movie follows more established intelligence gathering, and the discovery of the house. The final  section is the raid that found Bin Laden.

Jessica Chastain plays her part to great effect, showing the drain from the pressure put upon her. She manages to carry her character through what is primarily a male dominated movie. Her male co-stars really do not come up to her standard at any point during the 157 minute film.

The direction is good, and the script serves its purpose, but don't be fooled, this is no Hurt Locker. Other than the final segment of the movie, this lacks any real tension, and besides Chastain I found the acting to be a little weak. That said it is watchable, but not to the standard of Bigelows former Oscar triumph.

 I believe this period of American history will be judged by future generations, and regardless of what judgement is made, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal will be its primary story tellers. They tackled this with respect, for the countless lives that were lost in the attacks and wars that lead to this event, yes it made the movie slow and hulk-some in parts, but its a story worth telling and not sensationalizing.

This is a movie that does not need to win an award, or gross a billion ant the box office to be remembered, its good film making, and its respectful and honest take is impressive, in a time where the failures of past 10 years look destined to be forgotten.

1 comment:

  1. Good review Lee. This is another great entry from Bigelow and has a cast that Robert Altman would envy.