I thought that Kathryn Bigelow's previous film, The Hurt Locker, was somewhat overrated, at least in Oscar folks making it the best picture winner, but I have no doubt that her latest, Zero Dark Thirty, was underrated.
First, Bigelow, at minimum, deserved an Academy Award nomination for directing this fictionalized yet riveting account of the search for Osama bin Laden. Second, Jessica Chastain was brilliant as the CIA analyst Maya, whose doggedness helped lead to the terrorist's death. And third, the script by Mark Boal, who also penned The Hurt Locker, cleverly turned the hunt into a detective story, managing to cut through the politics.
The criticisms that the film shows torture and that Maya takes part in it without showing remorse are, frankly, irrelevant.
If anything, Zero Dark Thirty should be commended for raising the subject. More than any other film that has arisen from the 9/11 tragedy, this one chronicles America's difficult path to vengeance. Indeed, the scenes where agents get information from a suspect through physical abuse plays a key role in trying to understand that.
The DVD includes featurettes on the making of the film and Chastain's approach to the role.
Zero Dark Thirty retails for $30.99 and $40.99 on Blu-ray.
These DVDs also were released this week:
New films: Les Misérables; This Is 40; The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey; A Royal Affair; Rust and Bone; Bachelorette; The Other Son; Hellgate; 8; The Great Magician; The Big Picture; Hemel; Fatherland; Gottfried Helnwein and the Dreaming Child; Shadow People; Straight A's; Time of My Life; 24-Hour Love; Cyberstalker; Angus Buchan's Ordinary People.
Older films: Badlands: The Criterion Collection; The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp: The Criterion Collection.
TV: The Hunt for Bin Laden; Jersey Shore: The Uncensored Final Season; Chance in a Million Complete Collection.
THE WASHINGTON POST