The Academy has presented us with quite an interesting eight film field for Best Picture this year. While half of the nominees are biopics – traditional Best Picture fare – we also have some rather audacious and distinctly non-traditional contenders. There is even a comedy in there! We also don’t have a cut and dry favourite, with different films having seemingly risen and faded over the last few weeks. What follows is a breakdown of the eight contenders chances and the arguments for and against for each. Continue reading
Director: Clint Eastwood
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller
Chris Kyle was the deadliest sniper in US military history, with 160 kills across four tours of duty in Iraq. For the Iraqi insurgents he was enemy number one – there was a $180,000 reward for killing him – for the US military he was their guardian angel. Knowing he was looking over them made them feel invincible. Kyle was a man that became a US military legend. Unfortunately, Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper is more concerned with showing us the legend than the man.
As a child Kyle’s father taught him there are three kinds of people in the world: sheep who won’t stand up for themselves and will be abused, wolves who seek to bully and harm others, and sheep dogs who are blessed with the gift of aggression and use it to protect the weak and innocent. Chris Kyle is a sheep dog. Inspired by the embassy bombings in East Africa he joins the Navy SEALS and before long finds himself in Iraq. As he grows in standing his missions become more specialised. Having been assigned to team to take out the infamous Al Qaeda operative known as ‘The Butcher,’ he also becomes obsessed with capturing an Iraqi sniper named Mustafa whose skills rival his own. Continue reading