Zero Dark Thirty: Ooh-Rah!

by Ethan Alter December 19, 2012 6:00 am
<i>Zero Dark Thirty</i>: Ooh-Rah!

It's hard not to watch Zero Dark Thirty without drawing comparisons to Homeland and not just because both Kathryn Bigelow's new movie and that hit Showtime drama both revolve around a doggedly determined, socially awkward female CIA agent (Jessica Chastain's Maya on the big screen and Claire Danes' Carrie on the small) dedicating herself to bringing down America's most wanted terrorist, no matter the personal and professional cost. Beyond that, both the film and the series are shot through with a profound ambivalence -- and even skepticism -- about the way the nation's chief counter-terrorism agency operates, not to mention the moral compromises individual agents make in service of what they perceive to be their duty. But at the end of the day (and as the Season 2 finale made abundantly clear), Homeland is first and foremost a skillfully written soap opera, which uses the War on Terror as a backdrop to the twisted love story at its center; the show's "realism" exists entirely within quotation marks. Zero Dark Thirty, on the other hand, aspires to near-complete authenticity; while the decade-long CIA manhunt for Osama bin Laden almost certainly didn't proceed in precisely the manner that Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal present here, it's the closest we're probably going to get without being granted clearance to review the Agency's classified files.

I Want My DVD: Tuesday, March 19, 2013

by Ethan Alter March 19, 2013 6:00 am
I Want My DVD: Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Hey guys, wait for me! We forgot to sing "On the Road Again!"

Oscars 2013: Our Gut Reaction to the Nominations

by Ethan Alter January 10, 2013 10:26 am
Oscars 2013: Our Gut Reaction to the Nominations

We reflect on the just-announced 2013 Oscar nominations. Sorry DC Nation... Marvel Studios has kicked your butt one more time.

The Top Ten Movies of 2012

by Ethan Alter December 27, 2012 9:56 am
The Top Ten Movies of 2012

The Moviefile puts a bow on 2012 with our official Top Ten list, plus a bunch of honorable mentions.

Golden Globes 2013: Our Gut Reactions to the Movie Nominations

by Ethan Alter December 13, 2012 10:56 am
Golden Globes 2013: Our Gut Reactions to the Movie Nominations

Looks like it's Argo versus Zero Dark Thirty at the Golden Globes this year.

New York Film Critics Online 2012 Awards Results

by Ethan Alter December 10, 2012 7:00 am
New York Film Critics Online 2012 Awards Results

It's not even in theaters yet, but Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow's follow-up to The Hurt Locker, is raking in the same kind of awards love bestowed on her earlier film. Several critics' groups have named the film 2012's Best Picture, including the New York Critics Online, of which Television Without Pity's Moviefile is a voting member. Other winners at the 2012 NYFCO awards meeting, which was held on Sunday, December 9, included Bigelow and ZDT's Mark Boal for Director and Screenplay respectively, as well as Michael Haneke's Amour for Foreign Language Film. In the acting categories, Amour's female star, Emmanuelle Riva, won Actress, while Daniel Day-Lewis triumphed in the Actor category for Lincoln -- the same award he's likely to win come Oscar night. A full list of NYFCO's 2012 awards are below.

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