Roundup: Why both sides are right (or wrong) in the 'Zero Dark Thirty' debate

Posted by · 4:00 am · December 31st, 2012

I know, I know, more column inches on the “Zero Dark Thirty” torture debate. But I’m leading with Andrew O’Hehir’s piece because it’s the most thoughtful, level-headed response I’ve read on the matter so far. He’s a fan of the film — most flatteringly, he compares it to the “complex historical fiction” of Dickens or Tolstoy –, but doesn’t see that as any reason to assume it takes the morally “right” position. “Both interpretations can be simultaneously correct,” he writes, “partly because it”s an unusually complicated work, partly because there are so many things we don”t know about the Bush administration”s notorious “detainee program,” and partly because art is an inherently amoral and ruthless enterprise, however much we may want to believe otherwise.” Great stuff. [Salon

A.O. Scott, Manohla Dargis and Stephen Holden post their annual ideal Oscar ballots. Among their points of agreement: “Amour” (plus its two leads) and “Zero Dark Thirty.” Props for including Matthias Schoenaerts, Ms. Dargis, but he is not supporting. [New York Times

Steve Pond crunches the numbers on the Academy’s various voting branches — reaching, among others, the conclusion that you only need 36 votes to nab a nomination from the cinematographers’ branch. In case 36 of them are reading: Robbie Ryan for “Wuthering Heights,” please. [The Wrap]

Anthony Breznican, who’s settling nicely into his role as EW’s chief Oscar columnist, wishes he’d championed “Compliance” hopeful Ann Dowd harder through the season. [Entertainment Weekly]

Jon Weisman considers the voters scrambling to see everything in time for the Academy’s January 3 deadline, and joins many in asking: why the rush, Oscar? [Variety

Anne Hathaway talks to Amy Kaufman about her career ambitions, and performing over 20 takes — at her insistence, not Tom Hooper’s — of “I Dreamed a Dream.” [LA Times]

Adrian Curry’s typically considered list of the year’s best movie posters has some picks you definitely won’t see coming. [MUBI]

Oscar-nominated costume designer Julie Weiss chats to Nathaniel Rogers about clothing the on- and offscreen worlds of “Hitchcock.” [The Film Experience]

Jackson Truax talks to Janusz Kaminski about his longstanding collaboration with Steven Spielberg and, more specifically, his work in “Lincoln.” [Awards Daily]

Ronald Bergan remembers Harry Carey Jr., the western-inclined character actor best known for his multiple collaborations with John Ford, who passed away recently aged 91. [The Guardian]

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