Yesterday Kathryn Bigelow issued a strident defense of her film Zero Dark Thirty in the L.A. Times. The statement comes as part of a campaign by the film's producer and distributor to fight back against an onslaught of criticism of the film's depiction of torture.
The firestorm around Zero Dark Thirty may be the most ferocious in Oscar history, but it is far from the only time an Oscar contender has incited controversy. When an Oscar contender gets too far out front, objectors seem to come out of the woodwork. At the end of the day, though, it's debatable whether any of these campaigns — organized or not — actually have an effect on a film's statuette chances. There is, of course, no way to know if an Academy member switched his or her vote because of bad publicity around a film. Nevertheless, in some cases, the connection seems clear. In others, controversial movies have gone on to win major awards.
Here's a look back at some of the more strident attacks the awards trail has seen.