ZERO DARK THIRTY Director Kathryn Bigelow and Writer Mark Boal Developing Bowe Bergdahl Movie

by     Posted 129 days ago

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Well this is sure to ruffle some feathers.  Director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal, the filmmaking team behind the Oscar-winning war drama The Hurt Locker and the tremendous post-9/11 procedural Zero Dark Thirty, are looking to possibly turn the controversial story of Army soldier/POW Bowe Bergdahl into a feature film.  If for some reason you haven’t been paying attention to the news, Bergdahl was captured by the Taliban in Afghanistan after leaving his Army base, where he was subsequently tortured and held prisoner for five years.  A little over two weeks ago, Bergdahl was released as part of a prisoner exchange with the Taliban, as the United States traded five Taliban members who were being held at Guantanamo Bay.

Hit the jump for more on the potential Bowe Bergdahl movie, which Bigelow and Boal have apparently been tracking for some time. [Update: Deadline has updated its story to report that Fox Searchlight is also developing a Bowe Bergdahl film of its own based on the non-fiction book America's Last Prisoner of War with In the Bedroom director Todd Field apparently involved.]

Declassified Documents Reveal Extent of CIA Influence on ZERO DARK THIRTY Script

by     Posted 1 year, 169 days ago

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Despite the lack of awards from the Academy (it only received one for Sound Editing), Zero Dark Thirty will go down as one of the definitive films of the 2010s (and missing out on Best Picture is almost a confirmation of this; see also: The Social Network).  The film’s awards season momentum was slowed by a nonsense controversy over torture (people who didn’t understand movies thought the film was promoting it), and one could think that screenwriter Mark Boal‘s conversations with the CIA may have “softened” the depiction of movie’s harsher scenes.  Recently revealed documents reveal that this is only marginally true.

Hit the jump for details on the CIA’s comments on the script for Zero Dark Thirty, and changes that were made in response to those comments.

ARGO, ZERO DARK THIRTY, SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN, BREAKING BAD, LOUIE, and More Win WGA Awards

by     Posted 1 year, 248 days ago

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The Writers Guild of America Awards were held tonight, and Ben Affleck‘s Argo continued its sweep through awards season by netting Best Adapted Screenplay for writer Chris TerrioMark Boal won Best Original Screenplay for the film that will actually continue to resonate for years to come, Zero Dark Thirty.  Meanwhile, Malik Bendejelloul‘s won Best Documentary Screenplay for the wonderful Searching for Sugar Man.  Over on the TV side, Breaking Bad won Best Drama Series, Louie won Best Comedy Series, and Girls won Best New Series.  Hatfields & McCoys and Game Change continued their awards winning streaks by picking up Best Long Form (Original) and Long Form (Adapted), respectively.  Finally, Portlandia beat out some stiff competition (such as The Daily Show and The Colbert Report) to pick up Best Comedy/Variety.

ZERO DARK THIRTY Review

by     Posted 1 year, 285 days ago

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[This is a re-post of my review from December when Zero Dark Thirty opened in limited release.  The film opens today in wide release.]

Kathryn Bigelow‘s previous film, The Hurt Locker, opened with the statement, “war is a drug.” Like The Hurt Locker and her earlier film K-19: The Widowmaker, Bigelow’s new picture, Zero Dark Thirty, deals with a deadly obsession created in wartime. But unlike Hurt Locker and K-19, Zero Dark Thirty exists on a different battlefield—one of intelligence gathering, subterfuge, shady tactics, and misinformation. It’s a battlefield that is arguably more lethal than what we’ve seen before. It’s not where we place our troops. It’s where we place our citizens, and every moment in a post-9/11 world is a time bomb waiting to explode. In this world, Bigelow has crafted a thrilling and disturbing tale about how deeply an obsession can warp an individual, and how far we’re willing to go for the illusion of safety.

2013 Oscar Nominations Announced; LINCOLN Leads with 12 Nominations, Kathryn Bigelow and Ben Affleck Snubbed for Best Director

by     Posted 1 year, 286 days ago

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The nominations for the 85th Academy Awards have been announced, and it’s quite a whirlwind of nominees.  As expected, Lincoln landed the most nominations with 12, followed with Ang Lee’s Life of Pi which nabbed 11.  The big story here, though, is the Best Director category.  Shockingly, only two (two!) of the DGA nominees for Best Director made the Oscar cut: Ang Lee and Steven Spielberg.  The rest of the category was filled out by Benh Zeitlin for Beasts of the Southern WildDavid O. Russell for Silver Linings Playbook, and Michael Haneke for Amour.  It was almost guaranteed that Ben Affleck and Kathryn Bigelow would be landing nominations for Argo and Zero Dark Thirtyrespectively, but shockingly neither made the cut.  Apparently those films just directed themselves.  Based off today’s nominations, it now looks like it’s (surprisingly) down to Lincoln vs. Silver Linings Playbook for the big win.

Hit the jump to check out the list of nominees, and click here to check them against my predictions (somehow I predicted the Best Picture and Supporting Actor categories perfectly).  The 85th Academy Awards will take place on February 24th.

Adam Predicts the 2013 Oscar Nominees

by     Posted 1 year, 287 days ago

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At last, Oscar is upon us.  Back in November I shared a look at the early awards season race by way of our 2013 Oscar Preview articles, and now nearly two months later there’s still quite a bit up in the air.  This truly is one of the more exciting awards races in recent years, as 2012 is so stacked with quality that there are a surprising number of uncertainties this close to the Academy Awards ceremony.  Nevertheless, I am once again foolishly going to attempt to predict how the Oscar nominations will shake out when they’re announced tomorrow morning, January 10th.  Hit the jump to check out my predictions.

2013 Writers Guild Awards Nominations Include LOOPER, THE MASTER, ZERO DARK THIRTY, and THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER

by     Posted 1 year, 292 days ago

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As we head into the thick of awards season, we’re starting to see how the various guilds stack up with regards to the best of 2012 (the PGA nominations were announced yesterday).  The guilds are usually a good Oscar predictor as their voting bodies overlap significantly with the Academy’s voting body, and today we have a peek into the screenplay race by way of the nominations for the 2013 Writers Guild Awards.  The list includes some pleasant surprises like Rian Johnson’s brilliantly original script for Looper and Steven Chbosky’s touching adaptation of his own novel The Perks of Being a Wallflower, as well as expected candidates like The Master, Moonrise Kingdom, Zero Dark Thirty, and Lincoln.

Each year a number of screenplays are ruled ineligible for the WGA’s, and this year is no exception as Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, Behn Zeitlin and Lucy Alibar’s Beasts of the Southern Wild, and William Nicholson’s Les Miserables were all  ineligible for WGA consideration for various insignificant reasons.  Hit the jump to check out the full list of WGA nominations.  The 2013 Writers Guild Awards will be held on February 17th.

Paramount Balked at $80 Million Price Tag for Kathryn Bigelow’s TRIPLE FRONTIER; Director Refused to Cast Will Smith

by     Posted 1 year, 306 days ago

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Back in 2010, Zero Dark Thirty director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal were coming off their Oscar wins for The Hurt Locker, and turning their attention to the crime drama Triple Frontier (also known as Sleeping Dogs).  The details of the plot were unknown, but the film was billed as an action-adventure set in a border zone of South America known as “la triple frontera”, a haven for organized crime.  Tom Hanks was attached to play one of the leads, and other stars were rumored for the picture including Johnny Depp, Sean Penn, Denzel Washington, and Javier Bardem.  The plan was to start filming in March 2011.  But then Bigelow and Boal decided to hit pause, and do an indie thriller before Triple Frontier.  It’s worth noting that Variety shot down a rumor that “the plot concerns the hunt for Osama Bin Laden,” even though that rumor ultimately turned out to be true.  However, at that time the indie thriller was about losing Bin Laden in the Tora Bora Mountains; once he was killed, the script had to be updated.

So what happened with Triple Frontier?  Hit the jump for more.

ZERO DARK THIRTY Review

by     Posted 1 year, 308 days ago

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Kathryn Bigelow‘s previous film, The Hurt Locker, opened with the statement, “war is a drug.”  Like The Hurt Locker and her earlier film K-19: The Widowmaker, Bigelow’s new picture, Zero Dark Thirty, deals with a deadly obsession created in wartime.  But unlike Hurt Locker and K-19, Zero Dark Thirty exists on a different battlefield—one of intelligence gathering, subterfuge, shady tactics, and misinformation.  It’s a battlefield that is arguably more lethal than what we’ve seen before.  It’s not where we place our troops.  It’s where we place our citizens, and every moment in a post-9/11 world is a time bomb waiting to explode.  In this world, Bigelow has crafted a thrilling and disturbing tale about how deeply an obsession can warp an individual, and how far we’re willing to go for the illusion of safety.

Kathryn Bigelow, Mark Boal, Jessica Chastain, and Jason Clarke Talk ZERO DARK THIRTY, the Decision to Include Enhanced Interrogation Scenes, Filming the Raid, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 309 days ago

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Zero Dark Thirty, the multifaceted story of the hunt to find Osama bin Laden, marks producer/director Kathryn Bigelow’s second collaboration with writer Mark Boal and her most ambitious production to date.  The film encompasses sweeping events spanning nearly a decade across multiple countries and involving a cast of hundreds.  From the naturalistic performances of an ensemble that includes Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke, Joel Edgerton, Jennifer Ehle, Mark Strong, Kyle Chandler, and Edgar Ramirez, to innovative cinematography in extreme low-light conditions, to the painstakingly layered art direction, every facet of the production became a proving ground for Bigelow to make living history come alive on screen.

At the film’s press day, Bigelow, Boal, Chastain and Clarke talked about the challenges of telling a story where the audience already knows the ending, how all the characters are based on real people, why the Department of Defense did not vet the script, why they included enhanced interrogation scenes, how Bigelow collaborated with her creative team on the look and tone of the film, and why the raid was the most logistically demanding scene.  Chastain also discussed how she approached Maya, the film’s strong central character, and revealed she’s now starring in The Heiress on Broadway.

Los Angeles Film Critics Association Names AMOUR Best Picture; New York Film Critics Online and Boston Society of Film Critics Award ZERO DARK THIRTY

by     Posted 1 year, 317 days ago

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Director Kathryn Bigelow’s drama Zero Dark Thirty continues its dominant critics awards path, as it has picked up two more Best Picture wins from the New York Film Critics Online and Boston Society of Film Critics groups, adding to its previous wins from the New York Film Critics Circle and National Board of Review.  Bigelow also won Best Director from both organizations, while Daniel Day-Lewis took home Best Actor for LincolnEmmanuelle Riva won Best Actress from New York and Boston, while she shared the award in a tie with Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook in the Los Angeles Film Critics Association.

Los Angeles broke from the mold a bit by naming director Michael Haneke‘s devastating French-language film Amour the Best Film of the year.  They also awarded Paul Thomas Anderson Best Director for The Master and Beasts of the Southern Wild’s Dwight Henry the Best Supporting Actor honor in a couple of pleasant surprises.  Hit the jump for the full list of winners from all three critics groups.

New Clip and Images from ZERO DARK THIRTY Featuring Jessica Chastain and Joel Edgerton

by     Posted 1 year, 326 days ago

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A few new images and a new clip from director Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty have landed online.  The film documents the decade-long manhunt for Osama bin Laden, focusing on a CIA analyst whose obsession with tracking the terrorist down eventually led to his assassination.  The drama has picked up plenty of praise since the first critics’ screenings took place last weekend, and judging by the amount of marketing material released in the past few days, Columbia Pictures is gunning for the Oscar win.

Hit the jump to check out the images and the clip, which shows SEAL Team Six taking off for their mission.  The film stars Jessica Chastain, Joel Edgerton, Kyle Chandler, Chris Pratt, Mark Strong, Scott Adkins, and James GandolfiniZero Dark Thirty opens in limited release on December 19th and expands nationwide on January 11th.

NIGHTLINE Special on ZERO DARK THIRTY Features New Footage and Behind-the-Scenes Look at Kathryn Bigelow’s Thriller

by     Posted 1 year, 329 days ago

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As the Oscar season is off and running, The Hurt Locker director Kathryn Bigelow’s highly anticipated/secretive drama about the hunt for Osama bin Laden, Zero Dark Thirty, finally screened for critics this past weekend to a rather positive response.  Reviews praised Bigelow’s procedural approach to the decade-long manhunt and singled out Jessica Chastain’s standout performance as the film’s lead, a CIA analyst whose obsession with the case eventually led to bin Laden’s assassination.

Given the film’s historical significance, ABC’s Nightline recently ran a report in which foreign correspondent (and master Presidential Debate moderator) Martha Raddatz sat down with Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal to discuss the making of the film, how the characters’ real-life counterparts felt about being portrayed, and the intense research they put into making the film as realistic as possible.  The video also includes new footage of the pic and plenty of video from the set.  Hit the jump to take a look.  Zero Dark Thirty opens in NY and LA on December 19th and expands nationwide on January 11th.

First Reviews for ZERO DARK THIRTY Heap Praise on Kathryn Bigelow’s Intense Procedural and Jessica Chastain’s Lead Performance; Plus First TV Spot

by     Posted 1 year, 330 days ago

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2012 is likely to go down in history as a banner year for film, and with nearly a month left to go before year’s end there are still a number of highly anticipated films poised to hit theaters.  High on that list is The Hurt Locker director Kathryn Bigelow’s drama about the hunt for Osama bin Laden, Zero Dark Thirty, and the pic finally debuted to critics yesterday to an incredibly positive reaction.  The production has been shrouded in a thick veil of secrecy given the sensitive subject matter, but many have high hopes for the film’s awards chances since the pic reteams Best Director winner Bigelow with her Oscar-winning Hurt Locker scribe Mark Boal.

It appears that those early guesstimates were entirely founded, as critics had plenty of high praise for the procedural thriller following its debut screenings yesterday.  Hit the jump to read some of the noteworthy reactions and to watch the first TV spot for the film.

2013 Oscar Preview: Best Animated Feature, Best Adapted and Original Screenplay, and Technical Category Quick Picks

by     Posted 1 year, 333 days ago

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We’re continuing on with our weeklong preview of the upcoming 85th Academy Awards, and after running down both acting categories it’s time to take look at some of the other races.  Today we’ll be looking at the Best Animated Feature, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Original Screenplay categories in depth, and I’ll also make some way-too-early quick picks in the technical categories.  The fun begins after the jump.

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