It seems many critics are rallying around ZD30. I will not see it for another week, but it is curious. Part of me wonders if the mainstream awards will join the party like they did with THL? The thing is that THL came out during a year of weak contention and the Academy was just itching to be politically noble and give its first Oscar to a female director (even playing that awful "I am woman hear me roar" when Bigelow won
). This year, they have had their self-congratulatory pat on the back in 2009 and it is a more competitive year.
P.S. This has nothing to do with Zero's quality. I haven't seen it. But it is a movie that looks like it is shot in that shaky-cam faux-documentary style that the Academy generally dislikes and does things that will make the politically minded wing of the Academy uncomfortable, like give credit to torture in the killing of Bin Laden. I could see them staying with something far safer like Les Miserables or Lincoln or even Argo over Zero in the end. Just a hunch. Kind of like how despite the critics going gaga for Social Network, the Academy went for the Oscar bait with The King's Speech. Feels very similar right now.