"While I found the depiction of torture to be upsetting–it seemed to me that Bigelow and Mark Boal presented it in a way that leaves it up to the viewer to decide whether or not it was worthwhile or reprehensible..." — Mike Fleming, Deadline HollywoodNotice the baseline assumption behind Flemings comment: the torture worked. Whether it was worthwhile or reprehensible is for us to decide. This is why Boal has done such damage. Because millions now believe that torture produces good information. The baselines of public debate have, for many people, been permanently altered.
Entirety of Jeffrey Wells' recent HOLLYWOOD ELSEWHERE blog post--titled "It Can't Happen Here...Or Can It?":
It's absurd, I realize, to speculate or fantasize about the absolute finest film of 2012 actually winning the Best Picture Oscar...ridiculous! The best films don't win the Oscar, dummy -- the most popular ones do. And yet Zero Dark Thirty is turning into a highly popular film with $75 million tallied + 9/11 families expressing their support + Leon Panetta giving it a thumbs-up + Martin Sheen going "homina-homina-homina...I've changed my mind!" + the Stalinist haters having been marginalized by common sense and routed by public scorn. Tables turnin', cut down to size, how ya like me now?
My take: I'm going with Tom Shones. The Mike Fleming quote is inadvertently spot-on regarding ZERO DARK THIRTY's explicit desire to put torture/rendition into an apolitical vacuum.
I wonder if Mr. Boal/Ms. Bigelow were influenced not only by their CIA sources but also Sony exec Amy Pascal in proceeding with this "for us to decide" approach--to make it "acceptable" for a mainstream audience.
[Remembering the sexual politics of Sony's remake of THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, where Rooney Mara was on top of Daniel Craig until Craig flipped Mara over to assert the dominant male/female sex position--a marked difference from the original Swedish film version.]
And, though I read Wells' blog, it's rather silly/unbecoming of him to persist in the claim that people unswayed by ZERO DARK THIRTY's filmmaking/screenwriting are merely "Stalinist haters."