Best Picture Nominees — American Sniper

The Academy Awards are almost here, so it's time to take a deep dive into the nominees for Best Picture. Today's entry is a late bloomer that's continuing to generate controversy.

Movie: American Sniper
Nominations: 6
Nominated For: Best Picture, Best Actor (Bradley Cooper), Best Adapted Screenplay (Jason Hall), Best Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing
About: Prior to the Academy Award nominations, "American Sniper" wasn't really a major player. That changed when the nominations were announced and the Clint Eastwood-directed film picked up six nominations, including Best Picture. Since then, the film opened in theaters and has been running wild at the Box Office. The controversy soon followed. Some has to do with the film itself — the use of an obviously fake baby in some key scenes is not what you'd expect to see in a Best Picture nominee. Some is political — the accusations that the film is "pro-war" seem hollow to me, and the complaint that it doesn't paint the full political picture on the Iraq war is beside the point. This is a film that tells one man's story, and it does so well. Cooper — nominated for the third year in a row — does a great job as Chris Kyle. This isn't an easy film to watch, but it chronicles one man's struggle to leave the battlefront behind and learn how to be a husband and father again. It's success with audiences may be a key in helping it make a late surge at the Academy Awards, but I don't think so. My guess is, if the film wins anything, it will be the sound mixing and editing awards.
Rating: R for strong and disturbing war violence, and language throughout including some sexual references. Enter with caution.
Verdict: Three stars out of four.
"American Sniper" is now playing in theaters nationwide.


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