“You can help yourself by being truthful.”
Zero Dark Thirty reunites the Oscar winning team of director-producer Kathryn Bigelow and writer-producer Mark Boal (The Hurt Locker) for the step by step story of the manhunt for the world's most dangerous man— Osama bin Laden.
Screenwriter Boal has acknowledged that “all of the characters in the film are based on real people.” Some of these real people, like the agent who inspired main character Maya (Jessica Chastain), still work under secret identities.
Most of the meticulously crafted story is rolled out in a matter-of-fact way, which may disappoint someone looking for a character-driven film. But these very details will delight anyone fascinated by the process that led to finding OBL.
Following all this procedural drama, Bigelow recreates the Navy Seal’s raid on the compound, which gives the movie a satisfying thriller climax.
Simply put: The current torture controversy in the press shouldn’t distract from this meticulously crafted thriller that is about so much more.
Award potential: Nominated for Best Picture, Best Actress and Best Original Screenplay. With Zero chances at Best Director (Bigelow was not nominated). Chastain has a procedural-type role, which is usually good enough for a nomination only. This film could get rewarded in one area — for the research and talent to write the screenplay. But the torture controversy may rob it of that too.
The ten buck review: Worth ten bucks.