Zero Dark Thirty had a bad night at The Oscars, but why?
If there’s anything worse that winning just one Oscar after your film was nominated for five, it's winning Best Sound Editing, and if there’s anything more embarrassing that that, it’s winning Best Sound Editing in a rare tied award with Skyfall.
Zero Dark Thirty’s failure at the 85th Academy Awards can be attributed, at least in part, to a trio of US senators, who, on December 19 last year, complained that the film was “grossly inaccurate” for implying torture played a part in tracking down the al-Qa’ida leader. The controversy surrounding the political implications of her film, led director Kathryn Bigelow to write a piece in the Los Angeles Times. “Those of us who work in the arts know that depiction is not endorsement. If it was, no artist would be able to paint inhumane practices, no author could write about them, and no filmmaker could delve into the thorny subjects of our time.”
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It’s not as though the eventual winner of the Best Film category, Argo, wasn’t controversial, but its overriding positive spin on the CIA negated any Academy stigma. Elsewhere, neither Argo nor Zero Dark Thirty were represented in the best director category, as Ben Affleck and Bigelow were both subject to inexplicable snubs. This didn’t clear the way for Steven Spielberg to pick up the prize, though, as Ang Lee was recognised for Life of Pi. Daniel Day Lewis did win Best Actor for Lincoln, though, becoming the first person to win that prize three times.