Is the U.S. Senate secretly working for Team Affleck? Certainly not, but they couldn’t have helped Argo more if they’d tried. Heading into prestige pic season, Kathryn Bigelow‘s Zero Dark Thirty looked like a strong contender for several top prizes. Then came the controversies over the film’s inaccuracies and its portrayal of torture, culminating in a formal investigation by the U.S. Senate into the Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal‘s relationship with the CIA.

All that hoopla may have crippled the film’s awards chances, and indeed it walked away from Sunday’s Oscars with just one lone Oscar for sound editing. Naturally, the Senate has now dropped its probe into the matter without revealing any of its findings. Hit the jump for more details.

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Dave, Devindra, Germain, and Russ chat about their thoughts on this year’s Academy Awards. How funny and offensive was Seth MacFarlane? Who still remembers Chicago? What the hell were Paul Rudd and Melissa McCarthy doing up there? Tune in and find out!

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993.
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WGA Awards Go to ‘Argo’, ‘Zero Dark Thirty’

In the last major pre-Oscars guild awards, the WGA followed the PGA, the DGA, and the SAG (not to mention the HFPA, the BAFTA, and most every other film-related acronym you can think of) in feting Argo, this time for the excellent adapted screenplay by Chris TerrioMark Boal‘s Zero Dark Thirty nabbed the original screenplay award, but at this point Argo seems a virtual lock to pick up Best Picture come Sunday.

Meanwhile, Malik Bendjelloul‘s documentary Searching for Sugar Man continued its winning streak, while critical faves Breaking BadLouie, and Girls all emerged victorious in the television categories. Hit the jump to see the winners.

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Zach Galifianakis‘ talk show Between Two Ferns made its triumphant return to Funny Or Die yesterday with a special Oscar Buzz Edition.

In Part one of this special, which we posted yesterday, Galifianakis talked to Oscar contenders Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Lining Playbook), Anne Hathaway (Les Misérables), Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained), Naomi Watts (The Impossible) and Amy Adams (The Master).

Today we bring you Part 2 of the hilariously and awkwardly interview series, this time featuring Bradley Cooper (Silver Lining Playbook), Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty), Sally Field (Lincoln) and another special guest from Lincoln. Watch part two of the interview special after the jump.

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It’s a given that any film “based on a true story” will harbor several inaccuracies, from minor factual errors to wholesale fabrications. But perhaps because it’s based on such recent events, Kathryn Bigelow‘s Zero Dark Thirty has attracted more than its fair share of controversy over its portrayal of the hunt for Osama bin Laden. Some have decried its use of artistic license, others have commended it for its attention to detail, still others have wondered if Bigelow knew too much, and so on.

Now a guy who should really know what he’s talking about is weighing in on the issues. In a new interview, the SEAL Team 6 member who actually shot and killed the terrorist leader offers his two cents regarding Zero Dark Thirty‘s relationship to real-life events. In a nutshell: “They Hollywooded it up some.” Hit the jump to keep reading.

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We’ve got a bunch of cool movie art for you today. The Academy and Gallery1988 commissioned a small group of artists to create original screen prints inspired by this year’s nine Best Picture nominees. After the jump you can see some of them, including:

 AMOUR by artist Matt Owen, ARGO by Anthony Petrie, BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD by Rich Kelly, DJANGO UNCHAINED by Mark Englert, LES MISÉRABLES by Phantom City Creative, LINCOLN by Jeff Boyes, LIFE OF PI by Tom Whalen, SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK by Joshua Budich and ZERO DARK THIRTY by Godmachine.

Gallery1988 has tweeted that “this is just the start” and there will be “more soon” including a tweet teasing the appearance of popular artist Olly Moss.  The G1988 x The Academy show will run February 14th to the 17, with more details coming soon. See the first batch of art after the jump.

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This podcast contains spoilers for Django Unchained and Zero Dark Thirty.

Dave, Devindra, and Adam chat with film critic Armond White about Quentin Tarantino’s work in Django Unchained, as well as why Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance and Taken 2 are better films than Zero Dark Thirty. Be sure to check out Armond’s Django review, as well as his “Better Than” list for 2012. 

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993.
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[The following article contains spoilers for Zero Dark Thirty]

In the past month or so, it feels as though two opposing camps have been battling it out over Zero Dark Thirty: the film critics who laud it as one of the best films of the year, and commentators who believe that it in some way endorses torture or depicts it as effective. The latter group have also given time and effort to slamming the film (for example, by articulating that it “kind of sucked.”). These opinions especially have inflamed film critics in a variety of ways; Scott Mendelson (a writer who I deeply respect and admire) recently wrote on the “moral outrage” that has resulted from Bigelow getting snubbed for a Best Director Oscar nomination due to the growing controversy over her film.

I think both parties have a point.
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