Jessica Chastain and Kathryn Bigelow bring ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ to Hollywood

HOLLYWOOD – Sony Pictures and Annapurna Productions brought their celebrated thriller “Zero Dark Thirty” to the Dolby Theater Monday night for what turned out to be a star studded premiere.

“Thirty” has already won a slew of major critics’ honors including best film of the year from the New York Film Critics Circle, the National Board of Review, the Boston Society of Film Critics and the New York Film Critics Online. Moreover, director Kathryn Bigelow has dominated the best director prizes across the board and Chastain took the best actress prize from the NYFCC and NBR. It’s been a good awards season kick-off for Sony’s latest best picture contender.

In a pleasant surprise, Chastain was able to get time off from her run in “The Heiress” on  Broadway to make the world premiere.  On an embarrassing personal note, I almost cut in front of Bigelow at the ticket table outside the Dolby. The Academy Award winning filmmaker showed up with her guest and no handler making her way to find anyone who could direct here where to go. It was a rare sighting at a Hollywood premiere, but quite refreshing to see her patiently wait in a mixed up line to find out where to go.

Unexpectedly for such a diverse and global cast, Chastain’s co-stars Jason Clarke, Jennifer Ehle, Edgar Ramirez, Chris Pratt, Kyle Chandler, Marc Strong, Mark Duplass and Harold Perrineau were also all on hand.  Some of the other notables included Sony Pictures Chairwoman Amy Pascal, Alexandar Skarsgard, Pratt’s wife Anna Faris, Aaron Paul and Milla Jovovich.

Watching “Thirty” again, there is no doubt the thriller has solidified a place in one of the top positions on my year-end top ten list.  Bigelow’s direction, screenwriter Mark Boal’s script and cinematographer Greig Fraser’s work are just masterful and the picture is a must for the big screen.  Moreover, it’s clear Chastain and “Silver Lining Playbook’s” Jennifer Lawrence are going to be duking it out for the best actress Oscar for weeks.

“Zero Dark Thirty” opens in limited release on Dec. 19.

[Above: Producer Megan Ellison, Kyle Chandler, Edgar Ramirez, Producer/Writer Mark Boal, Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke, Mark Duplass and Harold Perrineau at the world premiere of “Zero Dark Thirty”]