The Boston Online Film Critics Association have chosen their winners for the 2012 year. Awards were selected via a system of online voting. Naming Zero Dark Thirty for Best picture, Kathyn Bigelow for Best director. and Jessica Chastain for the Best actress category.
The film also won the “Best Picture” prize at this year's New York Film Critics Circle Awards, sweeping along is Kathryn Bigelow for her “Best Director” win and “Best Cinematography” for the hunt-for-bin Laden war drama.
Hot on the heels of the New York Film Critics Circle, The National Board of Review (@NBRfilm) has followed suit and named Zero Dark Thirty (its third major honour in a week) the “Best Film of the Year” for 2012! and Kathryn Bigelow for her 3rd “Best Director” win. Jessica Chastain, who plays chief Osama-hunter Maya, was named “Best actress”. The film’s triple success makes it an early frontrunner for next year's Oscars. “Zero Dark Thirty is a masterful film,” said Annie Schulhof, NBR President. In the latest twist, the award winning tandem has come under criticism from various groups that they, Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal were given access to classified CIA documents by the Obama administration while making the film, which chronicles the decade-long hunt for al-Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden after the 9/11 attacks, and his death at the hands of the Navy Seal raiding Team 6 in May, 2011. Bigelow and Boal denied they received classified info. “I certainly did a lot of homework, but I never asked for classified materials; to my knowledge, I never received any”, Boal told Martha Raddatz.
The working title for the film was For God and Country.The title Zero Dark Thirty has been officially confirmed at the end of the movie's teaser trailer. Bigelow has explained that “it’s a military term for 30 minutes after midnight, and it refers also to the darkness and secrecy that cloaked the entire decade long mission.” Bigelow and Boal had initially worked on and finished a movie script centered around the 2001 siege in Tora Bora, where bin Laden was once believed to be hiding. The two were about to begin filming when news broke that bin Laden had been killed. They immediately shelved the film they had been working on and redirected their focus, essentially starting from scratch. "But a lot of the homework were done for the first script and a lot of the contacts I made, carried over,” Boal remarked during an interview. He added, "The years I had spent talking to military and intelligence operators involved in counterterrorism was helpful in both projects. Some of the sourcing I had developed long, long ago continued to be helpful for this version." Opponents of the Obama Administration charged that Zero Dark Thirty was scheduled for an October release just before the November presidential election, so that it would support the reelection of Barack Obama by reminding the public who gave the command to initiate the raid that killed bin Laden.