Issue 47 - 2013 - New

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FILM 19 7 Issue 47 / 2013 ZERO DARK THIRTY Much has been made of Zero Dark Thirty's stance on torture as a method of interrogation, with some publications accusing director Kathryn Bigelow of lacing a pro-torture agenda throughout her latest film – a finely sculpted account of the decade-long search for Osama bin Laden. An alarming, thought, no doubt – but what is more alarming, is the readiness with which some critics are willing to discount the film's many achievements almost entirely as a result. Zero Dark Thirty is remarkable for its ability to keep one enthralled while watching the true jewel in an already-encrusted crown: a breathless reenactment of bin Laden's eventual capture in Pakistan, which ensures the film's final stretch is also its most rewarding. Mark Boal's screenplay expertly interpolates ten years worth of exposition, characters and frustrating near misses – the most important constant being Jessica Chastain's Maya, a stoic CIA officer with an unmitigated dedication to the hunt. It's a perfectly constructed performance from Chastain, who is clearly only too happy to partake in COMING SOON the boys club that is the world of cinematic espionage and military duty. Bigelow wisely dispenses with the temptation to saddle Maya with the thankless task of bringing some feminine charm to said proceedings, opting instead to filter Ellen Ripley through own unique brand of docu-realism. As for moral stances, Bigelow's original prerogative was clearly to entertain - all else is simply conjecture. There is a definite undercurrent of disillusion with the validity of torture running throughout Zero Dark Thirty, but it it's never black and white and it really shouldn't have to be, either. In a film with an ending that is common knowledge to all, perhaps Bigelow's greatest masterstroke is ensuring a debate rages on long after the credits roll. WARM BODIES February 8th Jonathan Levine, director of acclaimed cancer-comedy 50/50, changes tack with this zombie romance. Nicholas Hoult (X-men: First Class) stars as a flesheater who falls in love with the girlfriend of one of his victims. A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD STOKER February 15th March 1st John McClane is back, this time joined by his CIA operative son Jack (Jai Courtney) in order to prevent a nuclear weapons heist. When her father dies, India (Mia Wasikowska) becomes increasingly obsessed with her otherworldly but charming uncle (Matthew Goode).

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