Sunday, November 25, 2012

Hollywood Reporter's Todd McCarthy reviews Kathryn Bigelow's "Zero Dark Thirty"

One of my favorite film critics is Todd McCarthy.  He used to write for Variety and now writes for the Hollywood Reporter.  His reviews are unlike any other.  He goes to the trouble of describing the movies he sees in such depth that his reviews should be peppered with the expression "Spoiler Alert!" throughout.  But I don't mind that because I always like to hear as much as I can about a movie before I see it.  I'm the rare person who doesn't feel like a movie or TV show has been ruined just because I know what is going to happen.  I also like McCarthy because, like me, he is a big Howard Hawks fan.  He wrote the excellent biography "Howard Hawks: The Grey Fox of Hollywood."  As such, because he clearly likes the kind of confident/assertive women that populated the Hawks filmography, McCarthy tends to emphasize writing about the portrayal of women in what are otherwise testosterone-driven action films in a way that is very insightful and engaging.

Todd McCarthy, back in his days with "Variety"

Mr. McCarthy has just posted his review of Kathryn Bigelow's "Zero Dark Thirty" (2012), a film about the hunt for Osama Bin Laden.  I have tremendous regard for Bigelow's work as a director.  I think that Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson should hire her to direct the next James Bond movie.  I had concerns and skepticism as to how this movie might turn out, but it sounds as if Bigelow has done an exemplary job here.  You can read McCarthy's review here.  As is his tendency, McCarthy takes time to provide an analysis of lead actress Jessica Chastain's character that intrigues me and makes me look forward to seeing "Zero Dark Thirty" even more.  That's McCarthy's gift--his level of detail never spoils a movie for a reader, and only serves to enhance your desire to see a film. 

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