Monday, February 11, 2013

"Zero Dark Thirty"

We finally made it out to see "Zero Dark Thirty" yesterday, and wow, what a movie!  As you probably know, this movie is all about the CIA's ten year hunt to track down and take down Osama Bin Laden.  You know how the movie ends, but that doesn't take away from the suspense and the overall excellence of the movie.

As you also may know, the movie has become controversial in its depiction of torture by Americans in interrogating detainees.  Is the movie an "endorsement" of these practices and/or a criticism of the ceasing of such tactics?  Director Katherine Bigelow says it is neither, merely a presentation of events, and the questions may have cost Bigelow a "Best Director" Oscar nomination, but regardless of all of that, this is one terrific movie, and the final 40 minutes or so when the team goes into Pakistan on their mission is fabulous.

Jessica Chastain as Maya, the CIA operative who devotes ten years to tracking down Bin Laden gets my vote for Best Actress Oscar.

Also in the movie is James Gandolfini as the CIA Director ("Leon Panetta" is not named in the movie, but Gandolfini has him down pat).  You may have thought that Gandolfini would be forever typecast as Tony Soprano, and you do remember him in that role, but he is completely believable as the CIA Director.  A small, but terrific performance.

On the subject of snubbed movie directors, did you all notice that Ben Affleck received the Best Director Award as bestowed by the Directors Guild of America two weeks ago?  Also, "Argo" was named Best Picture of the Year by the British Film Institute this weekend.  all signs are pointing to "Argo" winning the Best Picture Academy Award while it's director wasn't even nominated.  

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