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It cannot be an easy thing to follow up a win for Best Picture at the Oscars, particularly when that moment can be seen as a redefinition of someone's career. Kathryn Bigelow may have been well-regarded by film nerds for her early work, but "The Hurt Locker" brought her to a much broader audience than ever before and it also established her as a very different type of filmmaker from the person who made "Near Dark" and "Point Break."
It looks like "Zero Dark Thirty" is what we would expect from the new Kathryn Bigelow, and that's exciting. While we may know the eventual outcome of the hunt for Osama Bin Laden, there's so much of the story that we don't know that I get the feeling this is going to be about the process, not the ending.
Working with Mark Boal, the writer/producer she paired with on "The Hurt Locker," Bigelow's film takes place over the full decade it took to hunt down Bin Laden, and it looks like this is one of those subgenres of film I love, movies about people under pressure, and with a cast like this, I look forward to seeing how they crack and fracture under that pressure.
Boal comes from a journalism background, and the film hits close enough to home that it's caused some serious controversy from people who are convinced that Obama's administration gave Boal and Bigelow access to classified materials that they should not have been cleared to see. There's no proof of that, though, and if anything, it seems like a real compliment to the work that Boal does. I have no idea how much of this is based on research and how much is invented, but it looks like there are meaty roles here for Joel Edgerton, Jason Clarke, Jessica Chastain, Kyle Chandler, Mark Strong, and Chris Pratt.
Apple has the high-definition version of the trailer. Check it out:
It's easy to start thinking of the film year as wrapped up once we hit Toronto, but there are still some giant titles to come, and I think "Zero Dark Thirty" is going to be one worth watching when it is released on December 19.