Tinseltown’s biggest films tend to be highly critical of American power, but also reinforce the idea that the rest of the world is a place best avoided.
Foreign-policy wonks enjoy movie stars and high fashion as
much as everyone else, but this Sunday they may have extra incentive to tune in,
thanks to two nominees very much in the center of pressing international
political debates. It's not often that Hollywood films prompt official
Senate inquiries, but the early scenes of Kathryn Bigelow's Oscar-nominated
Zero Dark Thirty, which strongly
imply that torture was used to gain valuable intelligence that led to the
killing of Osama Bin Laden, have reignited the debate over the "enhanced interrogation"
practices of the George W. Bush era. Some insiders
say the controversy over torture has scuttled the generally well-received movie's
chances of taking home the big prize this year.