Osama Bin Laden was a bad guy; the terrorist leader who was behind the September 11 attacks on the US. He then became the face of the war on terror. He was hiding in a compound in Pakistan that was raided by US Marines and he was killed. Zero Dark Thirty is the story of how this came about.
As with most films based on reality, it’s hard to judge what is strictly fact and what has been changed for dramatic effect. It doesn’t shy away from some of the ugly truths of the war – the detention and torture of suspected terrorists, including waterboarding. It’s certainly not an easy film to watch; although, I was expecting worse. I went into the film with memories of director Katherine Bigalow’s previous, Oscar-winning film, The Hurt Locker. That film almost killed me. There was a tension that had me on the edge of my seat, gritting my teeth and waiting for something awful to happen. In Zero Dark Thirty, awful things happened, but I didn’t really have the same emotional connection to it. It’s a strong film; long, but it didn’t drag for me. It actually felt to me like a weaker version of Homeland, the television show.
It’s probably a shame that this has come out in the same year as Argo, which I think has taken a similar type of story but told it in a much stronger way.
Jessica Chastain has been nominated for a Best Actress in a Leading Role Oscar, won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama and was nominated for a BAFTA for Leading Actress
Dylan Tichenor and William Goldenberg have been nominated for an Oscar for Editing and were nominated for a BAFTA for Editing
Zero Dark Thirty has been nominated for an Oscar for Best Film, a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture – Drama, and was nominated for a BAFTA for Best Film
Paul N.J. Ottosson has been nominated for an Oscar for Sound Editing
Mark Boal has been nominated for an Oscar for Writing (Original Screenplay), a Golden Globe for Golden Globe for Best Screenplay – Motion Picture and was nominated for a BAFTA for Best Original Screenplay
Kathryn Bigelow was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Director – Motion Picture and was nominated for a BAFTA for Best Director