Zero Dark Thirty
What's it about?
This geezer named Osama Bin Laden who, having done a very bad thing, went to ground for 10 years before being finally tracked down by the CIA. Kathryn Bigelow's follow-up to The Hurt Locker shows us how they did it.
Why's it nominated?
Because it is a stunning dramatisation of recent history that taps into the same fascination we have with counterintelligence as TV smash Homeland. The movie - up for five prizes - recreates the raid on Osama's lair in nerve-shedding real time.
What are its chances?
Charges of political bias and factual inaccuracy might have cost Bigelow the best director nomination she surely deserved and will probably prevent her movie challenging Lincoln for the best picture prize. As its dogged heroine Maya, though, Jessica Chastain delivers a commanding enough performance to steal the best actress award from Jennifer Lawrence, the current bookies' favourite.