From Kathryn Bigelow, who won Oscars for best picture and best director for “ The Hurt Locker”, comes Zero Dark Thirty, the compelling story of a determined CIA agents’ dogged 8 year pursuit of Osama bin Laden. Much like “Argo”, the film entwines elements of historical data and takes dramatic license. It is expertly crafted and relentlessly suspenseful despite the fact that we all know how the story ends.
Make no mistake however, this film is about the main character Maya, as much as it is the hunt of bin Laden. Jessica Chastain’s performance is extraordinary. If I had an Oscar vote, I would have given it to her, despite how good Jennifer Lawrence was in “Silver Linings Playbook”. Chastain carries the entire picture. How many actresses can do that beside Meryl Streep? Her Maya is an intelligent, ferociously resolute woman, who is obsessed with finding bin Laden. She lives for nothing else.
Bigelow also tackles the controversial issue of the morality of torture. I do not believe, like others, that the film glorifies it. She leaves it up to us to draw our own conclusions as to its effectiveness. That moral ambiguity is quite refreshing, considering the typical heavy handed leftist leanings of Hollywood. Zero Dark Thirty was nominated for 5 Oscars, including best picture and it’s a fascinating watch. I still “enjoyed” Argo more as entertainment, but Zero Dark Thirty is tension filled storytelling at its best, and one of the finest fact-based political thrillers since “All The Presidents Men”. See you at the movies....
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