This was a movie that I highly anticipated. And I tried to keep an open mind on it, and I think I succeeded . I thought the film was fantastic. it really does a terrific job of presenting the capture of Osama Bin Ladan without any bias or fear of holding back. It is brilliantly made from start to finish and there is a lot of great suspense towards the end. It's not an enjoyable movie experience, but a rewarding and fascinating one for sure. And the whole cast is great.
However, I must mention that the film is a little phony and hollywood like with some of it's characters: It's hard to believe that Jennifer Ehle would be that excited about a new informant who is coming to see her at a fully armed and guarded military base, yes before hand, but not jumping up and down and everything during the actual meeting. I also think the attack soldier's attitudes are bit phony, though less so. But it doesn't derail from the power of the movie though.
Anyway, as for Jessica Chastain, the character of Maya is somewhat problematic. There is not much explanation of her motivations or her background and from what I've heard, it was all for security reasons. However, I don't understand how a fictionalized Maya could not have worked. But the character is not one dimensional and is supposed to be rather reserved and un-emotional . Chastain really does a great job of capturing her character and her mannerisms and body language are perfect. As I've said, Maya is rather a mystery, but this approach is still effective and the subtlety that Chastain brings to the performance make it work. She slowly develops the character over time, and Maya increasingly becomes more and more stressed over the situation, not to mention more attached emotionally and much more determined to catch him, which she does. When we finally come to the part where Osama is being discovered however , the script unfortunately makes her a bit too stereotypical by having her be the woman who knows it all and won't take any attitude. Regardless of that, Chastain still is basically believable here and she plays all of her scenes well here. I don't think she'll win the Oscar though.It's a very subtle performance, and although she is great, I don't see voters giving it to her just yet. But I wouldn't mind a win for her, although my vote would go to jennifer at the moment
The Bigelow snub is a TOTAL TRAVESTY!!! How could she not been nominated?!!! That's the best direction I've seen all year, period. If you want to snub something , snub the script which I think is good, but uneven for reasons i've stated above. Anyway, you've got my vote Kathyrn Bigelow.
Overall Grade: 4 and A Half and I'd say this and Les Miserables are my favorite films so far.