Oscar hopefuls marred by controversies

Actress Jessica Chastain is shown in a scene from the film Zero Dark Thirty.(REUTERS/Jonathan...

Actress Jessica Chastain is shown in a scene from the film Zero Dark Thirty.(REUTERS/Jonathan Olley/Sony Pictures/Handout)

Jim Slotek, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:38 PM ET

If both liberals and conservatives hate you, you're probably doing something right.

Case in point: Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow's take on the decade-long CIA hunt for 9/11 architect Osama bin Laden. It provided election-year controversy for Fox News types, who accused the Obama administration of giving Hollywood pals inappropriate access to CIA operatives.

With the election over, the political football was punted to the left side of the field, where the movie's opening water-boarding scenes were painted as implicit "approval" of torture.

The meme apparently remains within the Academy that a vote for Zero Dark Thirty is a vote for Dick Cheney and Abu Ghraib. Bigelow's exclusion from the best director list, after becoming the first Oscar-winning female director ever with The Hurt Locker, lends credence to the theory.

It'll be that much more credible if Jessica Chastain fails to win Best Actress. As good as Jennifer Lawrence was in Silver Linings Playbook,

Herewith, some other Oscar contenders apparently undermined by outside factors.


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