BEST MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA: Zero Dark Thirty
It would be easy to over-sensationalize the decade-long manhunt for Osama bin Laden into a Ridley Scott-esque, melodramatic thriller or some whip-pan Michael Bay actioner. Rather, Kathryn Bigelow follows up her Oscar-winning film The Hurt Locker with a detached, dispassionate and utterly honest depiction of the tiresome search. Focusing on the lone CIA agent whose belief in a single lead would eventually end in the capture and killing of the world’s most well known terrorist, Zero Dark Thirty earns high points for authenticity. Featuring smart, honest filmmaking and first-rate performances, the film explores not only the facts that lead to the historic end result, but the weight of the seemingly endless search on those who dedicated their lives to the pursuit. Chances of winning: Odds-On Favorite.