Today's Hot Trailer: Zero Dark Thirty Sparks Controversy and Award Nominations
12.16.12 by Ryan
The controversial Oscar contender delivers its final trailer.
After being declared the Best Movie of 2012 by the New York Film Critics Circle, it's no surprise that Zero Dark Thirty is up for several Golden Globes nominations, including Best Motion Picture - Drama. The movie's last trailer showed that director Kathryn Bigelow (also nominated for Best Director) was still in the award–winning form she was in during 2008's The Hurt Locker. This time, she and Hurt Locker screenwriter Mark Boal are focusing on the hunt for terrorist Osama bin Laden, which, as revealed in the movie's final trailer, required CIA agents, such as lead operative Jessica Chastain, to be able to handle "the rough stuff."
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Despite not even being in theaters yet, Zero Dark Thirty is not without controversy. While critics have been mostly positive (with a 97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes), some journalists, such as Peter Maass of The Atlantic, lambasted the movie for its depiction of torture as a method of extracting information, calling Zero Dark Thirty a representation of "a new genre of embedded filmmaking that is the problematic offspring of the worrisome endeavor known as embedded journalism."
While Boal and Bigelow did base the movie on news articles and interviews with members of the CIA, the former journalist turned screenwriter is quick to point out that Zero Dark Thirty is intended to be a piece of entertainment. "It's a movie," Boal told The Atlantic. "It's not a documentary."
The New Yorker was equally upset with the movie's depiction of torture, a hot-button issue whose effectiveness is still up for debate. In a recent article about Zero Dark Thirty, staff writer Jane Meyer, who wrote the best-selling 2008 book The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned Into a War on American Ideals, asked: "Can torture really be turned into morally neutral entertainment?"
At a Los Angeles press junket, Boal perhaps provides an answer. "I understand that those scenes are graphic and unsparing and unsentimental," said Boal. "But I think that what the film does over the course of two hours is show the complexity of the debate."
However audiences feel about the movie and its depiction of torture will have to wait for now. Zero Dark Thirty opens in select theaters on December 19 and opens nationwide on January 11, 2013. Mark Strong (Green Lantern), Joel Edgerton (Warrior), and Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation) co-star.