Last Update: Wednesday, July 23, 2014

REVIEW- 'Zero Dark Thirty' is Massive, Meticulous PDF Print E-mail
Written by Christy Lemire   
Thursday, 06 December 2012 05:33

JONATHAN OLLEY/COLUMBIA PICTURES INDUSTRIES, INC./AP PHOTO

This undated publicity film image provided by Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. shows Jessica Chastain playing a member of the elite team of spies and military operatives stationed in a covert base overseas who secretly devoted themselves to finding Osama Bin Laden in Columbia Pictures' gripping new thriller directed by Kathryn Bigelow, "Zero Dark Thirty."

Until the very end, she is described as "The Girl." Even after a relentless, decade-long pursuit that leads to the daring midnight raid of Osama bin Laden's compound, even as she unzips the body bag to verify that the bloody corpse inside is indeed that of the slain al-Qaida leader, Jessica Chastain's CIA officer character is defined primarily by her femininity in this male-dominated world.

It's probably a phenomenon Kathryn Bigelow unfortunately is acquainted with herself, being the rare woman in Hollywood making muscular action movies - including 2009's "The Hurt Locker," winner of six Academy Awards including best picture and director, the latter being a first for a woman. And so even as "Zero Dark Thirty" takes an aesthetically stripped-down look at a hugely dramatic event, it shines with the integrity and decency of its central figure: a fierce young woman who's both dedicated and brainy, demanding and brazen.

Of course it took billions of dollars over 10 years and a multitude of people - many who gave their lives - to make this mission a success. Bigelow and "Hurt Locker" screenwriterproducer Mark Boal have accomplished the difficult feat of taking all that time, travel, investigation and frustration and depicting it thoroughly but also efficiently. The attention to detail, to getting it right each step of the way, is evident in everything from the dialogue to the production design to the lighting.

This is pure, unadorned storytelling, an effort to recreate what happened with absolute authenticity and zero excess. Methodical and detached as it is, "Zero Dark Thirty" may actually leave some viewers a bit cold; there are plenty of moments of danger in crowded streets and claustrophobic questioning rooms, but some of the legwork is tedious and it doesn't always pay off. But the drama is inherent from the very beginning and the emotion sneaks up on you by the end. We know what happened, and we know why it matters.

Chastain's powerfully controlled performance - a spectacular showcase for this versatile actress' many talents and a long-overdue leading role - is emblematic of the film as a whole. Her character, Maya (based on a real person with some tweaks to protect the woman's identity), is described by colleagues as "a killer" upon arrival at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, two years after the 9/11 attacks. Quietly reserved at first as she watches a colleague (the commanding Jason Clarke) rough up a suspect during an interrogation - and Bigelow doesn't shy away from the brutality of such torture, let's call it by its name - Maya soon asserts herself with her exhaustive research and inner drive.

We don't learn much about her since she has practically no personal life; what she does speaks for who she is. At a rare dinner out one night, a fellow female colleague (Jennifer Ehle, excellent as always) conspiratorially asks Maya whether she's messed around with a good-looking co-worker of theirs. Maya is appalled by the very suggestion. She's a professional. Besides, there's no time. She's gotten a hold of a lead she can't shake: the notion that following one of bin Laden's couriers will lead to the elusive al-Qaida chief. Trails grow cold, years pass, friends die in the line of duty and more attacks occur all over the globe. Pressures run high and time is against her; she finally cracks and lets some raw feelings burst forth in a confrontation with her arrogant superior, played with perfect slickness by Kyle Chandler. Also among the strong supporting cast are some actors in unexpected roles: Mark Duplass as a CIA officer!

James Gandolfini as the agency's director! But the discovery of a sprawling, heavily protected compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, makes her suspicious and gives her hope. Bigelow's extensive staging of the May 1, 2011, raid is a prime example of virtuoso action filmmaking. Set in the dead of a moonless night - hence the title, inspired by military jargon - the Navy SEALs' mission is both massive and intimate, a mix of ominous aerial shots of stealthy Black Hawk helicopters and infrared vision in dark bedrooms and corridors. Every bit of effort and emotion has led to this lengthy sequence, and we're invested, too.

There's no riding off into the sunset once the mission is complete, no swell of inspirational music; Alexandre Desplat's score is suitably understated, too. Just a few heartfelt hugs and some tears, all of them hard-earned.

"Zero Dark Thirty," a Columbia Pictures release, is rated R for strong violence including brutal disturbing images, and for language. Running time: 157 minutes. Three and a half stars out of four.

Share
Last Updated on Thursday, 06 December 2012 05:40
 






Team members care for thousands of the region's sickest children with heart conditions, including fetuses, newborns, infants, children, adolescents, and adult, long-term patients with pediatric cardiovascular conditions. At Children's families experience coordinated, next-generation care, delivered by a compassionate, multidisciplinary team of leaders in the pediatric cardiology field. One of the largest pediatric cardiovascular programs in the region. Studies have shown that high volumes are associated with high quality and better outcomes, because experience is a major factor in quality of care. Wort was traditionally prescribed in parts of Europe for depression (in addition to use as a general-purpose tea), and Chinese medicine developed elaborate lists of herbs and preparations. With the scientific revolution in Europe and the United States, the use of traditional herbal remedies fell out of favor with the mainstream medical establishment, although a few people continued to use and maintain knowledge of traditional European herblore. In the early 20th century, scientists began reassessing this rejection of traditional herbs in medicine. Vorzüge eines intakten und lebendigen Gemeinschaftslebens bewahren. Dafür sorgen nicht zuletzt gut 120 lokale Vereine. Als wichtiger Faktor im Kulturleben haben sich die zahlreichen Museen und einige Kunstgalerien erwiesen. Descriptive and quantitative transcriptome analyses are important for interpreting the functional elements of the genome and revealing the molecular constituents of cells and tissues. It is known that sperm function can be affected by ASG proteins, including the processes of capacitation and the acrosome reaction, as well as canadian pharmacy accutane sperm motility, DNA integrity and interaction with the oocyte. BSPs (bovine seminal plasma protein, unigene 64,588 and unigene 69,768), fertilin (unigene 17,270 and unigene 27,136), ACE (Angiotensin converting enzyme, unigene 7,164 and unigene 21,069), GPX5 (glutathione peroxidase, epididymal secretory glutathione peroxidase, unigene15860), Spermadhesin-1 (Acidic seminal fluid protein, aSFP). The reproduction-related transcripts identified in the ASG and testis transcritptomes in E. This interaction of PDC-109 with the sperm cell membrane results in an efflux of cholesterol and choline phospholipids, that appears to be important for capacitation. The main changes in spermatozoa that occur during epididymal maturation are the ability to move, recognize and bind to the ZP, and to fuse with the plasma membrane of the oocyte.. Oct 2004, Adelaide, Australia. Ziaian T, Augostinos, M. Relationship Between Acculturation and Mental Well-being Among Young Persian Women Living in Australia. Paper presented at the Educational Research conference, 18th November 2004, Adelaide, Australia. Ziaian T, Stress Management: an introduction of holistic coping strategies. A Four day Course for the higher degree students. Targeted molecular therapy for advanced epithelial ovarian cancer. Minimally invasive surgery for gynecological cancer. Pharmaceutical Sciences from Shizuoka College of Pharmacy (1976, Japan). He has completed his B. Prophylactic removal of nevi without clinically worrisome characteristics is not recommended. The reasons for this are practical: many individuals in these families have a large number of nevi, and complete removal of them all is not feasible, since new atypical nevi continue to develop. In addition, individuals with increased susceptibility to melanoma may have cancer arise de novo, without a precursor lesion such as a nevus. The disadvantages of screening include the limitations of available noninvasive testing methods and the risks associated with invasive screening procedures. ERCP is the gold standard for http://www.jerseycanada.com/jerseyatlantic/fnt/ultramer.php identifying early cancers and precancerous lesions in the pancreas..