Many of the best scandals in American history have come out of Washington D.C. — Watergate, Iran/Contra, Teapot Dome (feel free to Google these) — but this week, Hollywood is bringing the scandal to Washington instead of the other way around.
And it turns out the only thing more torturous than watching C-Span is watching "Zero Dark Thirty."
Yes, according to The Hollywood Reporter, four of the top 10 highest-grossing theaters for Kathryn Bigelow's controversial and acclaimed film are in the Washington, D.C. greater metropolitan area. And the busiest theater of them all? Why, that would be in McLean, Virginia, which just happens to also be home to the headquarters for the CIA.
So why all the fuss? Well, probably the same reason that "Zero Dark Thirty" is going gangbusters in the rest of the country as well (locations in Texas and Oklahoma are also among the top theaters): Because audiences are curious to see not only the story of how the CIA tracked down and killed Osama bin Laden, but also just what the big deal is regarding the film's depiction of torture as an interrogation technique.
Of course, Washington being Washington, there's always added intrigue, in this case the fact that "Zero Dark Thirty" was decried by both Democratic senator Dianne Feinstein and Republican senator John McCain, which marks the first time since President Bill Clinton was in office that Washington produced a bi-partisan agreement on anything. And if legislators of both parties hated it, well, you just know the movie is doing something right.
Now if only we can convince Bigelow to make her next movie about the fiscal cliff...