Tags: zero | dark | thirty | torture

Will Torture Scenes Hurt or Help 'Zero Dark Thirty' in Oscar Race?

Wednesday, 09 Jan 2013 03:34 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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The jury is divided on whether the harrowing torture scenes in “Zero Dark Thirty’’ — which have sparked vigorous debate about their authenticity and triggered a Senate investigation — will help or hurt the movie’s Oscar chances.

The Hollywood Reporter says there are compelling arguments on both sides.

"The controversy isn't helping it," one Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences member tells the Reporter.

And the publication adds: “Controversy can take it only so far. Although there have been infrequent exceptions, mostly when the Academy votes, it votes for reassuring, upbeat movies such as, most recently, ‘The Artist’ and ‘The King’s Speech.’’’

But things could change if the Senate, currently probing how much involvement the CIA had in the project, were to subpoena the filmmakers themselves.

“That could trigger lingering memories of former government witch hunts when writers and directors were hauled before Congress, which could lead to a surge of support for director Kathryn Bigalow and screenwriter Mark Boal,’’ the Reporter says.

“Zero Dark Thirty’’ has another tough battle in its quest for Oscars: the stiff competition it faces from crowd-pleasers like “Lincoln,’’ “Django Unchained,’’ and “Les Miserables.’’


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