Zero Dark Thirty’s muddy waters

ZeroDarkThirty__posterAnd I’m not just talking about the debate surrounding the film’s perceived pro-torture stance. Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow’s follow up to the stellar Hurt Locker, is a film with an obscure center, one that suffers from an unfocused point of view. I’m a huge fan of The Hurt Locker, and was very interested in Bigelow and writer Mark Boal’s next project, which got a lot of attention and heat when what was then a movie about the fruitless task of hunting down Osama bin Laden suddenly became a movie about the successful mission to kill him after May 2011. There’s a lot going on with this movie other than its movie-ness—specifically about the access the CIA granted Bigelow and Boal and how that might have affected the film’s “positive” portrayal of torture as an interrogation tactic—but first we’ve got to talk about the movie itself. Continue reading “Zero Dark Thirty’s muddy waters”

Let’s fight – Round 2: The best actresses under 40

I know.

I KNOW.

I’m terrible. When I posted the list of the best actors under 40, I said we’d be doing the actresses the next week, and now here it is, months later. What can I say? I’m lazy. But now here we are, with a list of the best actresses under 40. The same rules apply—same age range (25-39) and criteria (body of work, diversity of work, recognition received). I can’t stress enough how much harder this list was than the actors’ list. First, I had waaaay more options. Even after remembering that Rachel Weisz and Gong Li (if you’re scratching your head at Li, check out Raise the Red Lantern or Farewell My Concubine) were over 40, I still had over 30 candidates. At one point, I had five French actresses alone. I know you’re going to be like, “Where’s so-and-so?!” and want to know how I could possibly leave what’s-her-face off the list. The answer is probably that she tied with someone on the list and I made a taste call between them. Continue reading “Let’s fight – Round 2: The best actresses under 40”