Zero Dark Thirty (USA, 2012)
Directed by Kathryn Bigelow
Starring Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke, Joel Edgerton, Mark Strong
Considering the substantial amount of acclaim that it has attracted, it came as a surprise to many people that Zero Dark Thirty was snubbed at this year's Academy Awards. Notwithstanding the fact that the Oscars have never been a great barometer of quality, it was interesting that one of the most highly praised films of the year should have slipped so far under the radar.
Killing Them Softly and Love Story should look and feel the same because they were both made by men. Women's output varies greatly too; you couldn't find much in common between this film and The Kids Are All Right or Aeon Flux. Bigelow is as capable of making 'male' films as any other female director; it is not a question of gender, but of her wider sensibility.
Naomi Wolf went so far as comparing Bigelow to Triumph of the Will director Leni Riefenstahl, calling the film "amoral" and branding Bigelow as "torture's handmaiden." Such ridiculously hyperbolic comments presume that we cannot depict something without having a moral perspective on it, i.e. that we cannot show a shoe without having an opinion as to whether or not shoes are a good thing. The film depicts these scenes in clinical detail while informing us that the information that ultimately caught bin Laden was not obtained by these means. All we are left with is our emotional reaction, which is one of appropriate and justifiable revulsion.
All The President's Men worked so well because it put the audience in the minds of Woodward and Bernstein; we grew to like them as we struggled to piece together the same pieces of information they uncovered. Alternatively, the huge amount of information in Michael Herr's Dispatches was brilliantly shaped into the gripping dramas of Apocalypse Now and Full Metal Jacket. While Boal's credentials as a war reporter are not in doubt, he is by no means a great screenwriter; he cannot translate facts into storytelling, or turn important figures into real people.
his positive review, "the plot is Maya thinks she is right, and she is".