Zero Dark Thirty: Kathryn Bigelow's Oscar Snub, Benh Zeitlin Takes Her Expected Place

Whenever film nominations are released for the various awards ceremonies that erupt during the January of every year, there is undoubtedly a political element behind every choice. Of the Oscar nominations that were released today, Silver Linings Playbook is the closest of any of the films to a 'comedy', and that revolves itself around mental illness- not so comic. It seems, unequivocally, that serious films are the best films, according to the various institutions that hand out prizes. It came as a great surprise, therefore, when Kathryn Bigelow's directing for the enormously successful (fiscally and critically), very, very serious film Zero Dark Thirty, was snubbed for a nomination for Best Director. The other surprise in that group was a nomination for Benh Zeitlin. 

There has already been much speculation surrounding her absence in the list, but the general consensus is that the controversy surrounding the film, regarding the use of torture. The Huffington Post blogger Jan Lisa Huttner cites gender as a problem, noting that with Bigelow's elision from the lineup, "for the 80th time in 84 years, all the Best Director nominees in 2013 are male." Another idea is that Bigelow has already won an Oscar for best director, and its time to give other, lesser known directors a chance at the gong. And that's probably the most likely, because Benh Zeitlin, the second biggest surprise of the list, is someone that almost no one has heard of.

So, who is Benh Zeitlin and why has he been nominated? To begin with, he's only thirty years old. Secondly, the movie for which he's nominated, Beasts of the Southern Wild, is the first feature-length film he's ever made. His movie stars a five year old actress, for whom Beasts is also her debut, in a kind of magical-realist approach to the story of a community hit by Hurricane Katrina. Her name is Quvenzhané Wallis, she is also nominated for Best Actress, and probably the youngest person ever to be nominated in this category.

Zeitlin was just as surprised and delighted as us about the nomination, and we think he may not quite have got his head around it yet because what he's most excited about is the chance to meet his directorial heroes. "There's a lot of exclamation points on my phone right now," he told Entertainment Weekly. "I don't think I knew three filmmakers before I finished this film, and suddenly I'm getting to meet heroes of mine, directors who are nominated in my category who taught me how to make films when I was a kid watching VHS films. They've seen my movie!" 

Watch The Beats Of The Southern Wild Trailer:


Contactmusic

Tags: Kathryn Bigelow - Benh Zeitlin

Advertisement

More Kathryn Bigelow

The Most Successful Women In The Film Industry

Despite an unfortunate continuation of women in subordinate roles, female actresses in Hollywood are very much in the ascendance, refusing to play second fiddle to...

Guardians of the Galaxy: Is Chris Pratt The Next Big Hollywood Star?

Chris Pratt, the 34-year-old actor who has bagged himself some pretty tasty roles in recent years, is bulking up for his role in the upcoming...

'Point Break' Remake Seats Ericson Core In Director's Chair

The remake of Kathryn Bigelow’s classic movie Point Break has now got a director on board. According to Empire Online, Alcon Entertainment, who have been...

Zero Dark Thirty Wins Only One Oscar Through Rare Tied Award

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...

Advertisement

About-Turn: Where Did It All Go Wrong For Zero Dark Thirty At The Oscars?

The negative press surrounding Zero Dark Thirty, has slowly dragged the movie from being an Oscars favourite, to one of the evening’s biggest disappointments. Kathryn...

Oscars 2013: Skyfall and Zero Dark Thirty Is First Tied Vote Since 1968

Kathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty and Sam Mendes's Skyfall tied the Oscar for Sound Editing on Sunday evening (February 24, 2013) - the first dead...

Unofficial Zero Dark Thirty Ban Rumored In Pakistan

Amidst a backlash, there are rumors that Zero Dark Thirty has been banned in Pakistan unofficially.The film deals with the real life story of the...

Writers Guild Win Adds To Zero Dark Thirty Momentum... But Is It In Time For The Oscars?

In the Oscars build-up the bulk of the attention has been on Ben Affleck and Argo, with the director and actor confounding the Academy’s decision...

Advertisement

Comments

Kathryn Bigelow Newsletter

Subscribe to this news alert service to receive news and reviews on Kathryn Bigelow

Unsubscribe | Unsubscribe All