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Zero Dark Thirty Wins Only One Oscar Through Rare Tied Award

Kathryn Bigelow Academy Of Motion Pictures And Sciences Ben Affleck Steven Spielberg Daniel Day Lewis Ang Lee

If there’s anything worse that winning just one Oscar after your film was nominated for five, it's winning Best Sound Editing, and if there’s anything more embarrassing that that, it’s winning Best Sound Editing in a rare tied award with Skyfall.

Zero Dark Thirty’s failure at the 85th Academy Awards can be attributed, at least in part, to a trio of US senators, who, on December 19 last year, complained that the film was “grossly inaccurate” for implying torture played a part in tracking down the al-Qa’ida leader. The controversy surrounding the political implications of her film, led director Kathryn Bigelow to write a piece in the Los Angeles Times. “Those of us who work in the arts know that depiction is not endorsement. If it was, no artist would be able to paint inhumane practices, no author could write about them, and no filmmaker could delve into the thorny subjects of our time.”


Continue reading: Zero Dark Thirty Wins Only One Oscar Through Rare Tied Award

About-Turn: Where Did It All Go Wrong For Zero Dark Thirty At The Oscars?

Jessica Chastain Kathryn Bigelow Academy Of Motion Pictures And Sciences

The negative press surrounding Zero Dark Thirty, has slowly dragged the movie from being an Oscars favourite, to one of the evening’s biggest disappointments. Kathryn Bigelow’s political drama was nominated in the all-important Best Picture category (and was considered a forerunner before all the negative stories took attention away from the quality of the movie), as well as Best Actress for Jessica Chastain (again, she was considered a close favourite with the night’s winner, Jennifer Lawrence), Film Editing, Sound Editing (Paul NJ Ottosson was successful in this category, at least, sharing the award with Skyfall) and Writing – Original Screenplay.

Taking home just one award, from five nominations will have been a blow for the makers of Zero Dark Thirty. The reported “distortion” of the facts surrounding Osama Bin Laden’s capture, and the torture techniques portrayed in the movie cast a dark political shadow over Zero Dark Thirty and what had previously been enjoyed as a powerful political drama was now called into question, for its accuracy. Reports that the CIA had played a part in shaping the movie’s narrative did not go down well, either, as reports from political writers began to take precedence over the reviews of the film critics.

Despite the movie making it into the Best Picture category, Kathryn Bigelow was shunned from the Best Director award nominations and Chastain lost out on that Best Actress Oscar. It’s unclear exactly where everything went wrong for Zero Dark Thirty but the political debate surrounding the movie became too overbearing for its artistry to shine through and rather than the triumph we first expected, what we have seen instead is one of the sharpest about-turns in industry opinion in recent years. 

Continue reading: About-Turn: Where Did It All Go Wrong For Zero Dark Thirty At The Oscars?

Writers Guild Win Adds To Zero Dark Thirty Momentum... But Is It In Time For The Oscars?

Kathryn Bigelow Jessica Chastain Academy Of Motion Pictures And Sciences

In The Oscars build-up the bulk of the attention has been on Ben Affleck and Argo, with the director and actor confounding the Academy’s decision to omit him from the best director shortlist by cleaning house at pretty much every awards event since. Affleck’s tale is a heartening one, given many feel he’s been wronged, but there was another director too who also had reason to feel aggrieved at her omission from the best director list – Zero Dark Thirty’s Kathryn Bigelow.

Kathryn Bigelow at the DGAs 2013

Forget Ben Affleck, Kathryn Bigelow was another unfair omission by the Oscars 

Continue reading: Writers Guild Win Adds To Zero Dark Thirty Momentum... But Is It In Time For The Oscars?

Zero Dark Thirty And Argo Triumph In Writers Guild Awards

Ben Affleck Kathryn Bigelow Lena Dunham Bryan Cranston

Zero Dark Thirty and Argo were handed the top two film awards at the Writers Guild Awards last night – the last awards before this Sunday’s Oscar Ceremony.

Kathryn Bigelow’s taut thriller, which centers of the operation to capture Osama Bin Laden won Best Original Screenplay, with writer Mark Boal picking up the award, while Ben Affleck’s Argo – an escape story set in revolutionary Iran penned by Chris Terrio – picked up best adapted screenplay.

This was the last set of guild awards before ‘the big one’, so now both Affleck and Bigelow will both turn their attention to Sunday, where they’re nominated for a host of awards including Best Film, which, after a flurry of awards, Argo is the strong favorite to win.

Continue reading: Zero Dark Thirty And Argo Triumph In Writers Guild Awards

Are The 2013 BAFTAs Unpredictable? Strong Contenders Make It Tough To Judge

Ang Lee Ben Affleck Kathryn Bigelow Tom Hooper Steven Spielberg BAFTA

Film awards outcomes are difficult to predict. Year on year the judging panel changes and the tastes of both the public and the film critique elite evolve. Sometimes winners will be a curve ball, and sometimes movies that seem to be a dead cert get completely ignored from nominations.

This year, The Master had been tipped to be a firm favourite among critics, but has been largely ignored by many awards. In contrast, the underdog movie Beasts of the Southern Wild, starring two completely novice actors and the feature film directorial debut from Benh Zeitlin, has snapped up three nods from the Oscars. The BAFTAS doesn't quite have the same notoriety for its unpredictable nominations or winners, but for this year's Best Film Award, with 5 unusually strong contenders, the floor is still entirely open. 

This year's nominations are; Ben Affleck's Argo, Tom Hooper's all star Les Miserables, Ang Lee's stunning adaptation of Life of Pi, American historical drama Lincoln from Steven Spielberg, and Kathryn Bigelow's controversial search for Osama Bin Laden in Zero Dark Thirty

Continue reading: Are The 2013 BAFTAs Unpredictable? Strong Contenders Make It Tough To Judge

Thinking Of Seeing 'Zero Dark Thirty', With Friends? A Controversy Cheat-Sheet!

Kathryn Bigelow Jessica Chastain Barack Obama

Hey, UK readers, planning on seeing Zero Dark Thirty with a couple of friends this weekend? Of course, you'll be aware it's an Oscar frontrunner. Of course, you'll be aware it's from the director of Hurt Locker, and yes, of course you'll be aware it stars Jessica Chastain and is about the 10 year hunt for Obama Bin Laden. But are you aware of the storm brewing across the pond? If not, here's a guide to the intense criticism the movie has faced in recent weeks.

Political points-scoring began in mid-to-late 2012, when some critics of the Obama Administration accused director Kathryn Bigelow and Sony Pictures of releasing the film in October so that it would support the re-election of President Obama - i.e, the man who gave the command to raid the complex in which Bin Laden was eventually killed. Sony denied the whole thing, stating that the initial release date was chosen because it was the best available spot for an action-thriller. Anyway, the release date was pushed back, but there was more to come.

Next, several Republican sources charged the Obama Administration of improperly providing Oscar-winner Bigelow with classified information about the raid (can you see a pattern emerging here?) The charges became a prevalent election season talking point, with congressman Peter T. Ling requesting that the CIA and the U.S. Defense Department investigate whether or not information was inappropriately released. Both departments said they would look into it, though documents showed no evidence that classified information was leaked to the filmmakers. There was more to come.

Continue reading: Thinking Of Seeing 'Zero Dark Thirty', With Friends? A Controversy Cheat-Sheet!

A Week In Movies: Oscar Predictions For Jessica Chastain, Jennifer Lawrence, Denzel Washington, Daniel Day-Lewis And Anne Hathaway While Iceman And Mud Trailers Hit The Web

Jessica Chastain Jennifer Lawrence Kathryn Bigelow Anne Hathaway Denzel Washington Daniel Day Lewis Robert Zemeckis Michael Shannon James Franco Winona Ryder Reese Witherspoon

Golden Globes
Jessica Chastain and Jennifer Lawrence battle over Best Actress, Denzel Washington and Daniel Day-Lewis meet over Best Actor And Anne Hathaway favorite for Best Supporting Actress. While Iceman (James Franco, Winona Ryder) and Mud (Matthew McConnaughey and Reese Witherspoon) Trailers Hit The Web.

It's awards season for the film industry, so it's no coincidence that most stories this week centre on actors and filmmakers who are up for a variety of statuettes. Last Sunday's Golden Globes are increasingly seen as a little more than a promotional opportunity for hopeful Oscar nominees, and since they have winners in both drama and musical/comedy categories, they can spread the love around more than other groups. Unlike most years, there is no movie poised to sweep the Oscars this year.

Although Jessica Chastain for Zero Dark Thirty is gaining on her, Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook is the front-runner for Best Actress. Facing a huge crowd of fans, she stopped to sign autographs and pose for photos on her way to David Letterman's show this week.

Continue reading: A Week In Movies: Oscar Predictions For Jessica Chastain, Jennifer Lawrence, Denzel Washington, Daniel Day-Lewis And Anne Hathaway While Iceman And Mud Trailers Hit The Web

This Is Torture! Just Go See Kathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty

Kathryn Bigelow Jessica Chastain John McCain

The torture scandal surrounding Kathryn Bigelow's Oscar nominated movie Zero Dark Thirty has somewhat marred the acclaimed movie's release, though the message from its creators is clear: go and watch film as it is supposed to be enjoyed, in a movie theatre free of propaganda, criticism, and silly American politicians.

The movie - starring Jessica Chastain and focusing on the hunt for Osama Bin Laden - is at the centre of a storm concerning its torture scenes, specifically that it suggests illegal methods were used in the acquirement of intelligence. A number of pundits and senators, including the former presidential candidate John McCain, attacked the movie in an open letter to Sony Pictures saying it was a "grossly inaccurate and misleading" insinuation that torture led to Bin Laden's location. Refusing to be swayed and judging the movie on its cinematic merits, critics have been unanimous in their praise. Cath Clarke of Time Out magazine said, "This is an instant classic," while Kenneth Turan of The Los Angeles Times mused, "Kathryn Bigelow proves herself once again to be a master of heightened realism and narrative drive in this retelling of the decade-long search for Osama bin Laden." Turan's use of the word "retelling" is important - Zero Dark Thirty is exactly that, the retelling of the story by a screenwriter paid to make the story interesting and fun for audiences. Bigelow could have made a documentary on the hunt for Bin Laden though we're guessing it would have been largely boring until somewhere near the end. In fact, the Oscar winning filmmaker defends the use of torture and insists it was, in fact, part of the process. In an essay to the L.A. Times, she writes, "Experts disagree sharply on the facts and particulars of the intelligence hunt, and doubtlessly that debate will continue. As for what I personally believe, which has been the subject of inquiries, accusations and speculation, I think Osama Bin Laden was found due to ingenious detective work. Torture was, however, as we all know, employed in the early years of the hunt."

In a parting blow, Bigelow added, "As a lifelong pacifist, I support all protests against the use of torture, and quite simply, inhumane treatment of any kind. But I do wonder if some of the sentiments alternately expressed about the film might be more appropriately directed at those who instituted and ordered these U.S. policies, as opposed to a motion picture that brings the story to the screen."

Continue reading: This Is Torture! Just Go See Kathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty

Kathryn Bigelow On Zero Dark Thirty Torture Scenes: "It's Part Of The Story"

Kathryn Bigelow

A lot has been said about Kathryn Bigelow's Oscar nominated Zero Dark Thirty. One camp asks, how dare you suggest America uses torture? While another says, how dare you suggest that torture works?

It's not a case of left wing or right wing politics, both side of the spectrum have a problem with the film. It is worth noting, however, that a very large group also think it's brilliant, as is evidenced by its strong Oscar nomination slate. "It's part of the story," Bigelow told the BBC, defending the scenes in the film. "To omit it would have been whitewashing history." She also insisted that the film does not suggest the al-Qaeda leader would not have been located without so-called "enhanced interrogation techniques", adding that "That's a misrepresentation of the film." Some senators have criticized the film for perpetuating "the myth that torture is effective".

Bigelow not only defends the film, but also the raid, saying that it was "an incredibly diligent, incredibly complex and successful operation that brought the world's most dangerous man to justice". The film, which Bigelow describes as "a portrait of dedication, determination, commitment and sacrifice", is released in the UK and Ireland on 25 January.

Continue reading: Kathryn Bigelow On Zero Dark Thirty Torture Scenes: "It's Part Of The Story"

Kathryn Bigelow Defends Zero Dark Thirty; 'Illogical To Ignore Torture'

Kathryn Bigelow

Following the criticism aimed at Zero Dark Thirty over the counter-terrorism film’s handling of torture and interrogation scenes, its director Kathryn Bigelow has taken to the Los Angeles Times to answer back to those who – at their most heightened – have been calling for a boycott of cinema screenings.

The film portrays the US army’s search for Osama Bin Laden, including soldiers aggressive interrogation of certain people. In an impassioned piece, Bigelow insisted that she supported every American’s 1st amendment right and their view to have a voice over her picture. However, she added “I do wonder if some of the sentiments alternately expressed about the film might be more appropriately directed at those who instituted and ordered these U.S. policies, as opposed to a motion picture that brings the story to the screen.”

Bigelow is facing criticism parallel to the sort that Quentin Tarantino is receiving for his depiction of slavery in his Western film Django Unchained; namely, critics believing that they are both endorsing the controversial points of their films, when the directors insist they are only depicting them. “On a practical and political level, it does seem illogical to me to make a case against torture by ignoring or denying the role it played in U.S. counter-terrorism policy and practices” commented Bigelow in her piece.

Continue reading: Kathryn Bigelow Defends Zero Dark Thirty; 'Illogical To Ignore Torture'

Awards Snubs And Surprises Are Great! What Good Does Winning A Golden Globe Or Oscar Deliver?

Ben Affleck Kathryn Bigelow Academy Of Motion Pictures And Sciences Steven Spielberg

When neither Ben Affleck nor Kathryn Bigelow had been nominated for the Oscar for Directing there was absolute uproar. While they are both wonderful film makers, what good would it do if they won all the awards for all the films they make? At this juncture, one must ask, what are movie awards even for and what do they want from a film? If it were judged merely fiscally, Taken 2 would be doing quite well, and that would truly be a travesty. No, awards are to reward those who are doing something that is beyond what was expected of them, and something that adds to their craft. Sometimes awards don't meet expectation, and while there are plenty of sore losers there are many more worthy winners. But what good do movie awards actually do? And who for?

At the risk of being completely obvious- it does a lot of good for the film makers. Aside from that heart swelling feeling of pride, as Reuters reports, winning a Golden Globe can sky rocket a movie's money making potential. "[F]ilms nominated for Golden Globes tend to do far better at the box office than the average film" they say. "A Golden Globe win is worth $14.2 million" while an Oscar win is lagging far behind, a win for which gains the production an average of $3m. For both these major awards, a winning movie is winning literally millions of dollars. 

Plus, of course, everyone involved in a winning movie has an instant boost in their career. For the small timers who do well out of nowhere, the sky suddenly becomes the limit. 2008's Slumdog Millionaire was made by Film4, which historically makes small budget, independent films, but it won 8 Oscars. It was Dev Patel's first major film role and his big break which has since thrust him into other large budget productions alongside some major stars, including The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel alongside British greats Judi Dench, Bill Nighy and Maggie Smith. Likewise, Kathryn Bigelow had already made eight movies, but none of them had received any major critical response or awards. With Hurt Locker's enormous winning streak, her career now knows no bounds and her newest film Zero Dark Thirty, it seems, is about to receive the same glorifying treatment.

Continue reading: Awards Snubs And Surprises Are Great! What Good Does Winning A Golden Globe Or Oscar Deliver?

Zero Dark Thirty Jumps 16 Places To Take The US Box Office Charts

Kathryn Bigelow Steven Spielberg Les Miserables

A quiet week saw the Oscar nominated Zero Dark Thirty jump a staggering 16 places to take the number 1 slot in the U.S Box office charts, while Ganster Squad enjoyed a tame opening.

A measly $24,000,000 was enough to land the top-spot for Kathryn Bigelow's political thriller in its 4th week. Landing second on its opening weekend was Open Road Film's, A Haunted House, which gleaned $18,817,000, a full $2m more than Gangster Squad - starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone - which underwhelmed with $16,710,000. With most of the year's biggest movies already out in time for Oscar consideration, mid-late January isn't the best period for movie goers. Another controversial Oscar nominee, Quentin Tarantino' Django Unchained slipped 2 spots to 4th with $11,065,000, although it has a cumulative gross of $125.4m. Rounding off the top 5 was Golden Globe winner Les Miserables, which managed just over $10m this week, bringing it's total to just shy of $120m, a decent total for its third week in the charts.

Elsewhere, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey amassed just over $9m to bring its running total to $278.1M. It was 3rd last week. Lincoln, enjoying its 10th week in the top 10 came in 7th with $6,314,000 and Parental Guidance grabs 8th with $6,100,000. Texas Chainsaw 3D drops from the top spot to 9th with $5,150,000 and Silver Linings Playbook clambers back into the top ten from 12th with a round $5m. Figures compiled from Yahoo Movies. 

Gangster Squad Shoot Blanks As Zero Dark Thirty Tops US Box Office

Ryan Gosling Kathryn Bigelow Marlon Wayans

Zero Dark Thirty topped the second US Box Office weekend of the year as things started to pick up again with moviegoers.

January is traditionally a quiet month, with most people hunkering down until February, having spent all their cash on Christmas. However, the Oscar-nominated depiction of President Barack Obama’s search for Osama Bin Laden, directed by Kathryn Bigelow, managed to get people out of their houses and into the cinemas, with the film taking spot over the weekend with decent takings $24 million.

The film has come under much criticism, with some calling for a boycott of it and others complaining about how aggressively it portrays US interrogation techniques. Nevertheless, with its leading lady Jessica Chastain winning a Golden Globe last night (January 13) for Best Actress in a Drama, it looks like its success is here to stay. The film comfortable fought off tired horror parody A Haunted House, the Marlon Wayans-starring film taking second spot with takings of $18 million.

Continue reading: Gangster Squad Shoot Blanks As Zero Dark Thirty Tops US Box Office

The Golden Globes 2013: Who Were The Winners And Losers?

Ben Affleck Tina Fey Amy Poehler Jodie Foster Quentin Tarantino Les Miserables Steven Spielberg Kathryn Bigelow

Ben Affleck at the Golden Globes

Ben Affleck got his redemption at the Golden Globes last night (January 13)

Though the Oscars is undoubtedly the big one, there’s traditionally been a lot of love for the Golden Globes among the Hollywood fraternity, with the event being seen as a generally looser, less formal affair than its prestigious counterpart – even if the actors have had to cope with the barbs of Ricky Gervais in recent years. The jibes still came from Amy Poehler and Tina Fey, but they were delivered with far more good grace than those thrown by the British comic.

Continue reading: The Golden Globes 2013: Who Were The Winners And Losers?

Zero Dark Thirty Makes Surprise Jump To The Top Of Box Office

Kathryn Bigelow Jessica Chastain

With awards season fast approaching, every little thing can make or break a film's chances of winning big. Luckily for Zero Dark Thirty, its ascension to the top of the box office may very well end up working strongly in its favour.

Kathryn Bigelow's Osama Bin Laden manhunt film made a surprise appearance at the top of the film charts this week, taking in $24 million in U.S. and Canadian ticket sales and battling off some strong competition along the way too. The film, starring Oscar-nominee Jessica Chastain as a CIA agent embroiled in the hunt for Bin Laden, beat off competition from the latest Wayans Brothers horror spoof A Haunted House, which took in $18.8 million over the weekend, as well as fellow new release Gangster Squad, the Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone starring modern noir, which managed to bring in just $16.7 million.

With the Golden Globe Awards happening tonight, an award or two might top off one heck of a weekend for Bigelow and her cast and crew, with the film up for four awards tonight. Bigelow, like Ben Affleck, will be looking for some love from the Globes in the director category in particular, given her Oscar snub in the division.

Odds Are On For No One As Oscars Look To Be Close

Steven Spielberg Hugh Jackman Daniel Day Lewis Jennifer Lawrence Kathryn Bigelow James Cameron Joaquin Phoenix Sally Field

With the nominations for 2013's Academy Awards being revealed today, all the fields are open in the four major categories as there seems to be no real, clear cut contenders for the top prizes.

Lincoln has taken the brunt of the nominations, with twelve nominations in total, so it looks as though Steven Spielberg's historical epic might be favourite for some of the top awards too- Daniel Day-Lewis, Steven Spielberg and the film itself looking odds on favourite with Oddschecker.com. But still, are things really as clear cut as they seem? Maybe not, with the odds aside, the close(ish) ones at that, nothing really seems that clear really.

Avatar was the odds on winner back in 2010, but it was the former Mrs James Cameron, Katherine Bigelow, to see her film sweep the awards. Day-Lewis in particular has some competition in his field, with Cannes winner Joaquin Phoenix and first time nominees Bradley Cooper and Hugh Jackman biting at his heels. Both Argo and Zero Dark Thirty look as though they could take the top award of the night from under the president's nose, but with no Ben Affleck, it does look as though Ang Lee may be Spielberg's only competition to top director gong.

Continue reading: Odds Are On For No One As Oscars Look To Be Close

Oscar Contender Kathryn Bigelow Outside 'Late Show' Studios (Videos)

Kathryn Bigelow Steven Spielberg

She's facing huge criticism for her 5-time Oscar nominated film, Zero Dark Thirty,  which depicts the American operation to find Osama Bin Laden. But she still found time to smile to the press outside the Late Show Studios. 

With five Academy Award nominations for the 85th Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Actress (Jessica Chastain), Best Original Screenplay, Sound Editing and Film Editing, Bigelow will be pretty happy, but her snub for Best Director has caused confusion. Los Angeles Times film critic Kenneth Turan blamed her being overlooked on what he called Washington bullies. "Chalk up this year's (Oscar) nominations as a victory for the bullying power of the United States Senate and an undeserved loss for Zero Dark Thirty in general and director Kathryn Bigelow in particular," Turan wrote on Thursday.

Continue reading: Oscar Contender Kathryn Bigelow Outside 'Late Show' Studios (Videos)

Hot Tickets! This Weekend's US Movie Releases, Zero Dark Thirty, Gangster Squad,

Ryan Gosling Kathryn Bigelow Ewan McGregor Emma Stone Sean Penn Naomi Watts

Three films on opposite spectrums of the genre-scale go head-to-head for your hard earned cash this weekend; taut political thriller Zero Dark Thirty, 'cool' action flick Gangster Squad and heart warming drama, The Impossible all make their U.S. bows, so which one is it to be? Luckily, we can help you narrow it down.

We'll start with easily the most controversial of the bunch: Zero Dark Thirty. Directed by the unflinching Kathryn Bigelow, Zero is the story od America's hunt for Osama Bin Laden and the ugly steps it took to get him. Criticized for both suggesting that torture could work (by liberals) and that America used torture in the first place (by republicans), you can bolster your stock in the inevitable debate by going to see it. Oh, and it's a really good film, too. With an incredibly strong critical response and 5 Oscar nominations, you'll be hard pressed to see a finer film this weekend.

Check out the trailer for Zero Dark Thirty

Continue reading: Hot Tickets! This Weekend's US Movie Releases, Zero Dark Thirty, Gangster Squad,

Video - Kathryn Bigelow Strikes A Brief Pose For Paps Outside 'Late Show' Studios

'Zero Dark Thirty' director Kathryn Bigelow arrives at the New York City studios for 'The Late Show with David Letterman'. She only poses very briefly for photographers waiting outside before entering the building.

Continue: Video - Kathryn Bigelow Strikes A Brief Pose For Paps Outside 'Late Show' Studios

Zero Dark Thirty At The Oscars: Your Move, America

Kathryn Bigelow

Zero Dark Thirty's five Oscar nominations threw up no surprises; the film's been critically well received and no one doubts its position amongst the contenders. Winning, however, is a different story, and it's doubtful a film that strongly suggests the use of torture by the American government will win at the country's biggest award show. 

If you put aside the debate: for v against torture (remembering that torture is always illegal, everywhere) and consider the film on its merits, it's undoubtedly a fine achievement. Kathryn Bigelow is no slouch; she's up there with the Hollywood hard-hitters and is rightly mentioned in the same breath as some of the industry's greats. What she won't do, however, is compromise. Zero Dark Thirty has been criticized for many things, most notably the glamourizing of torture and the very suggestion that torture was used to pursue Osama Bin Laden. But instead of engaging head on with the important debate that it raises, the film's detractors simply think it's too close to the bone. And that's why it won't win an Oscar.

It looks like Zero is destined to lurk among the pantheon of great films unrecognized by the Academy. Of course, there are those who see it simply as an artistic interpretation, at its purest form: a story, but it would be foolish to ignore the context of such an important film. While Bigelow might need to make a more America-friendly film to triumph again at the Oscars, her integrity remains untarnished. 

Continue reading: Zero Dark Thirty At The Oscars: Your Move, America

Zero Dark Thirty: Kathryn Bigelow's Oscar Snub, Benh Zeitlin Takes Her Expected Place

Kathryn Bigelow Benh Zeitlin

Whenever film nominations are released for the various awards ceremonies that erupt during the January of every year, there is undoubtedly a political element behind every choice. Of the Oscar nominations that were released today, Silver Linings Playbook is the closest of any of the films to a 'comedy', and that revolves itself around mental illness- not so comic. It seems, unequivocally, that serious films are the best films, according to the various institutions that hand out prizes. It came as a great surprise, therefore, when Kathryn Bigelow's directing for the enormously successful (fiscally and critically), very, very serious film Zero Dark Thirty, was snubbed for a nomination for Best Director. The other surprise in that group was a nomination for Benh Zeitlin

There has already been much speculation surrounding her absence in the list, but the general consensus is that the controversy surrounding the film, regarding the use of torture. The Huffington Post blogger Jan Lisa Huttner cites gender as a problem, noting that with Bigelow's elision from the lineup, "for the 80th time in 84 years, all the Best Director nominees in 2013 are male." Another idea is that Bigelow has already won an Oscar for best director, and its time to give other, lesser known directors a chance at the gong. And that's probably the most likely, because Benh Zeitlin, the second biggest surprise of the list, is someone that almost no one has heard of.

So, who is Benh Zeitlin and why has he been nominated? To begin with, he's only thirty years old. Secondly, the movie for which he's nominated, Beasts of the Southern Wild, is the first feature-length film he's ever made. His movie stars a five year old actress, for whom Beasts is also her debut, in a kind of magical-realist approach to the story of a community hit by Hurricane Katrina. Her name is Quvenzhané Wallis, she is also nominated for Best Actress, and probably the youngest person ever to be nominated in this category.

Continue reading: Zero Dark Thirty: Kathryn Bigelow's Oscar Snub, Benh Zeitlin Takes Her Expected Place

Can Jessica Chastain Topple Jennifer Lawrence At The Oscars?

Jessica Chastain Jennifer Lawrence Kathryn Bigelow

Jessica Chastain has enjoyed a huge couple of years in Hollywood, that's for sure. From relative unknown, the California-born actress landed roles in Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life, Oscar nominated The Help and the critically acclaimed Take Shelter. Since then, there's been high profile roles in Lawless and Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted, though her latest role in Kathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty is her biggest and best yet.

Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark ThirtyIt Was No Surprise That Jessica Chastain Scored A Nomination For Best Actress

The Osama Bin Laden movie won Chastain a nomination for Best Actress at the Oscars on Thursday morning (January 10, 2013), with the bookmakers giving her a decent chance of winning, however, there's just one problem: Jennifer Lawrence. Chastain is available at around 2/1 to take home the golden statuette, though Lawrence is the massive favourite at 1/2 for her role opposite Bradley Cooper in David O'Russell's Silver Linings Playbook. The comedy-drama was one of the big success stories of the nominations, which indicates it could be Lawrence's year. Zero Dark Thirty on the other hand failed to secure a nomination for its director Kathryn Bigelow, though the controversy surrounding the movie's torture scenes could be the main reasoning behind that snub. Still, the acclaimed film rightfully holds its place among the likes of Lincoln, The Master and Silver Linings for the evening's biggest prize: Best Picture. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone said, "The knockout punch of the movie season is being delivered by Zero Dark Thirty. Chastain is a marvel, and Bigelow and Boal top their Oscar-winning work in The Hurt Locker." Though the odds favor Lawrence, the smart money will be on Chastain.  

Continue reading: Can Jessica Chastain Topple Jennifer Lawrence At The Oscars?

How Did Ben Affleck And 'Argo' Go From Oscar Certs To Outside Bets?

Ben Affleck Steven Spielberg Kathryn Bigelow

How much does the Academy hate Ben Affleck? The actor and filmmaker was the ODDS-ON to WIN the Oscar for Best Director before Thursday morning's (January 10, 2013) nominations announcement. He was a shoo-in to make the long-list at least, with Kathryn Bigelow also well fancied for Zero Dark Thirty. Neither filmmaker made the list, with Steven Spielberg now looking likely to take the award for Lincoln (he did not make the directorial nominations list for the BAFTAS).

As awards' season began to hot up towards the end of 2013, Ben Affleck and Argo could do no wrong. The movie - about a life-or-death covert operation to rescue six Americans from Iran in 1979 - still holds a healthy 96% score on the review aggregating site Rotten Tomatoes. Time Out Chicago said, "After Gone Baby Gone, The Town and now this directorial-best, Affleck is establishing himself as a major craftsman." The Daily Telegraph said, "Talent borrows and genius steals, but Affleck does something in between: he mimics." There was even talk that the 40-year-old could scoop both the acting and directing gongs, though by 5.30am ET today, that dream was in tatters. Silver Linings Playbook actor Bradley Cooper - who DID get nominated for Best Actor - told the Today programme during a phone interview, "I do have to say real quick, Ben Affleck got robbed."

Though he won the Oscar (with Matt Damon) for Best Screenplay in 1998, Affleck doesn't have any real Academy Awards form. He's done a little better at the Golden Globes, though generally, Hollywood doesn't appear to want to give Affleck anything. Maybe Argo winning Best Picture would make him feel a little better.

Continue reading: How Did Ben Affleck And 'Argo' Go From Oscar Certs To Outside Bets?

Ben Affleck Misses Out On Best Director Oscar Nod; Will It Affect Argo's Chances In Best Picture?

Ben Affleck Kathryn Bigelow Benh Zeitlin Steven Spielberg Michael Haneke

He was the bookies favorite coming in to today, but Argo's Ben Affleck didn't even make the shortlist for the Best Director category as the Oscars nomination were revealed. 

Just yesterday the Mirror had reported that it was to be a two horse race between Affleck and Zero Dark Thirty director Kathryn Bigelow this year to take the much-coveted award. In the event though neither of them managed to make the final cut, the Academy panel of judges looking over them both in order to give a chance to the lesser favored Benh Zeitlin and Michael Hanneke for Beasts Of The Southern Wild and Amour respectively. Those two join the much more fancied Steven Spielberg, David O Russell and Ang Lee, the trio nominated for Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook and The Life Of Pi respectively. 

Continue reading: Ben Affleck Misses Out On Best Director Oscar Nod; Will It Affect Argo's Chances In Best Picture?

Just A Film? 'Zero Dark Thirty' Dispute Just Got Serious

Kathryn Bigelow

The furore surrounding Kathryn Bigelow's Osama Bin Laden movie 'Zero Dark Thirty' has taken a surprise turn, with senators Dianne Feinstein, Carl Levin and John McCain questioning whether the CIA deliberately misled Bigelow and her screenwriter Mark Boal as to the specifics of the manhunt.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the three senators who slammed the film for alleged factual inaccuracies are now raising the possibility that Bigelow was duped by the CIA and are demanding that the agency turns over documents. Feinstein (California), Levin (Michigan) and McCain (Arizona) attacked the cinematic portrayal of the decade-long hunt for the Al Qaeda leader because they believe it suggests that key information was obtained by torturing detainees. In a letter to CIA director Michael Morell, the trio expressed a concern that "given the CIA's cooperation with the filmmakers and the narrative's consistency with past public misstatements by former senior CIA officials, filmmakers could have been misled by information they were provided by the CIA." McCain and co demand that the agency turn over to them "all information and documents provided to the filmmakers by CIA officials." Morell had previously sent an unusual message to all CIA employees on December 21, writing "some [intelligence related to bin Laden's location] came from detainees subjected to enhanced techniques, but there were many other sources as well."

Sony, which is releasing Zero Dark Thirty in the U.S., has declined to comment - hardly surprising given the film is likely to benefit from the recent attention. It is still considered a frontrunner for the Golden Globes and Oscars.

Zero Dark Thirty In Trouble With The Senate Intelligence Committee

Kathryn Bigelow

The controversy surrounding Kathryn Bigelow's latest movie Zero Dark Thirty has remained fairly tame - with critics and others questioning its use of torture - but now it's in real trouble as the Senate Intelligence Committee is planning an investigation into the movie over worries that it had access to 'secret information', as well as apprehension about the representation about torture, as NewsMax reports.

"[The film is] grossly inaccurate and misleading in its suggestion that torture resulted in information," the committee wrote, arguing that the film "clearly implies that the CIA's coercive interrogation techniques were effective." They feel strongly against the use of extreme torture seen in the movie, and question whether its use was based on reality or simply a tool by the writers. According to the senators in the committee the film's portrayal of the search and capture of Osama bin Laden was inaccurate. They have not yet contacted anyone in the films production

"We depicted a variety of controversial practices and intelligence methods that were used in the name of finding bin Laden," said Bigelow in a statement. "The film shows that no single method was necessarily responsible for solving the manhunt, nor can any single scene taken in isolation fairly capture the totality of efforts the film dramatizes."

Head Of CIA Objects Against Portrayal In Zero Dark Thirty

Kathryn Bigelow

With Zero Dark Thirty already established as one of the year’s most popular releases and drawing in the holiday crowds, a number of criticisms have arisen nonetheless.

These have been directed at the film’s factual inaccuracies and the liberties director Kathryn Bigelow has taken with the representation of the operation to find and capture Osama bin Laden. Senators John McCain, Carl Levin and Dianne Feinstein have sent a letter to Sony Pictures CEO Michael Lynton, speaking out against the film’s depiction and treatment of torture.

The latest authority to comment on this is CIA director Michael Morell, who said in a statement: “I would not normally comment on a Hollywood film, but I think it important to put Zero Dark Thirty, which deals with one of the most significant achievements in our history, into some context.” Morell goes on to object to the “strong impression” Zero Dark Thirty creates against the “strong interrogation techniques”, used in the course of the investigation, as well as the movie’s tendency to focus on “just a few individuals”, whereas the operation was actually a complex and sustained team effort, according to him.

Continue reading: Head Of CIA Objects Against Portrayal In Zero Dark Thirty

Bret Easton Ellis Picks On Kathryn Bigelow, Calls Her 'Overrated'

Kathryn Bigelow Bret Easton Ellis

Bret Easton Ellis, since forging a reputation as an excellent author, has soured that perception somewhat by launching into some rather unsavoury twitter rants that reek of bitterness. 

His latest target is Kathryn Bigelow, the highly celebrated American film director, film producer, screenwriter and television director. In 2009, she won the Academy Award for Best Picture for the The Hurt Locker, which was also awarded the BAFTA Award for Best Film, and was nominated for the 2010 Golden Globe Award for Best Drama. This, however, isn't enough for Easton Ellis, and he thinks her gender has something to do with her success; that and her good looks. "Kathryn Bigelow would be considered a mildly interesting filmmaker if she was a man but since she's a very hot woman she's really overrated," he tweeted, not uncharacteristically. Her latest film, Zero Dark Thirty has already been named best film of 2012 both by the National Board of Review and the New York Film Critics Circle and will surely be honoured by several other bodies before the awards season ends.

Like we said, Easton Ellis has a habit of slating fellow professionals within 140 characters or sell, and in a very unprofessional manner. While prospective employers will probably see this as a sign of volatility, making him seem very unemployable, it's good entertainment for us, isn't it?

Continue reading: Bret Easton Ellis Picks On Kathryn Bigelow, Calls Her 'Overrated'

Zero Dark Thirty Trailer

Following the tragic events of the twin towers bombing on September 11th 2001 in New York City, Islamic extremist group Al Qaeda's leader Osama Bin Laden was the most wanted man in the entire world. He had managed to evade capture and certain execution for nearly ten years when, in the year of the 10th anniversary of the tragedy, he was found by the extraordinary Navy SEAL Team 6 and shot dead at his residence in Abbottabad, Pakistan on May 2nd. The event, however tarnished with conspiracy theories and speculation, marked a moment in history and was seen as a giant step in the current war on terror. 

'Zero Dark Thirty' is the gritty historical drama telling the story of when Bin Laden was successfully captured and assassinated by a remarkable group of CIA operatives whose covert operations and well-kept secrets gave America their biggest victory in many years. With director Kathryn Bigelow ('Point Break', 'Strange Days') and writer Mark Boal ('In the Valley of Elah') who have previously worked alongside one another on the six time Academy Award winning war flick 'The Hurt Locker', it is set to be a seminal movie that may itself become an important part of history. It is set to be released on January 25th 2013.

Starring: Jessica Chastain, Scott Adkins, Jason Clarke, Joel Edgerton, Chris Pratt, Jennifer Ehle, Mark Strong, Taylor Kinney, James Gandolfini, Mark Duplass, Harold Perrineau, Jennifer Ehle, Kyle Chandler, Frank Grillo, Stephen Dillane & Edgar Ramirez.

Continue: Zero Dark Thirty Trailer

K-19: The Widowmaker Review

Very Good
K-19: The Widowmaker is based on a true story about a Russian submarine sent to test a nuclear missile at the height of the Cold War. The boat is ill-equipped for its task, and Capitan Mikhail Polenin (Liam Neeson) loses his command by insisting that the sub won't be ready in time for its scheduled launch. Captain Alexei Vostrikov (Harrison Ford) is given control of the ship, and his stern demeanor and commitment to military efficiency soon make him enemies onboard.

He runs the crew through relentless drills, offers little encouragement, and seems to take unnecessary chances. We soon learn that Polenin -- who remains aboard the sub -- is a father figure to the sailors, while Vostrikov aims to inspire fear. These opposing command styles lead to power clashes throughout the movie, a la Crimson Tide.

Continue reading: K-19: The Widowmaker Review

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Kathryn Bigelow

Date of birth

27th November, 1951







Kathryn Bigelow Movies

Detroit Movie Review

Detroit Movie Review

After The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal reteam to...

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Zero Dark Thirty Movie Review

Zero Dark Thirty Movie Review

Blistering writing, directing and acting hold us firmly in our seats as this procedural drama...

Zero Dark Thirty Trailer

Zero Dark Thirty Trailer

Following the tragic events of the twin towers bombing on September 11th 2001 in New...

K-19: The Widowmaker Movie Review

K-19: The Widowmaker Movie Review

K-19: The Widowmaker is based on a true story about a Russian submarine sent to...