There is growing support for the film "American Sniper" to win the Academy Award for the Best Picture.
The movie depicts the life of Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle, who served four tours in Iraq before he was shot and killed by a fellow veteran at a Texas gun range in 2013. Kyle is the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history, with 160 confirmed kills and 255 claimed kills.
The Academy Awards, also known as the Oscars, are scheduled for Sunday night at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood. "American Sniper," based on a book with the same name, is nominated for six awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor in a Leading Role. (Bradley Cooper played Kyle in the film.)
The Clint Eastwood-directed film
has raked in nearly $400 million worldwide since it was released on Dec. 25.
A story in the Washington Post Style Blog
outlines the reasons why the movie should win Best Picture.
"Bradley Cooper, who put on 40 pounds of muscle — and a convincing Texas twang — to embody the late Chris Kyle, delivers a performance that is no less impressive a feat than that of 'The Theory of Everything's' Eddie Redmayne, who seems to waste away before our eyes," film critic Michael O'Sullivan writes. "But 'American Sniper' impresses for reasons beyond Cooper's physical metamorphosis (and plausible handling of high-powered rifles). In this tale of a professional death-dealer, director Clint Eastwood and screenwriter Jason Hall manage the neat trick of making a movie that honors Kyle's work safeguarding American fighters while acknowledging its aftereffects — or at least those on the monosyllabic mountain of a man behind the trigger."
The Guardian published
a video on Wednesday that argues for the film to win the coveted Oscar.
"Politically, historically even, 'American Sniper' is contentious," says the Guardian reviewer. "But as a piece of art, it's a death study of a contemporary situation of personality that we might otherwise choose not to consider. And that is a perfectly valid justification for giving it the Best Picture Oscar in 2015."
The results of a poll,
meanwhile, show Americans are pulling for "American Sniper" to take home the Oscars' top prize. Thirty-eight percent of those surveyed voted for the movie, topping the second choice of "Selma" by 24 percentage points.
"Helped by six Oscar nominations, including one for best picture, savvy marketing and even some controversy, 'American Sniper' has become an unexpected hit for Warner Bros.," the Los Angeles Times writes.
"American Sniper" has been considered controversial on many fronts, including the argument that it portrays only one side of the Iraq War. Other critics question how accurate the film is in portraying Kyle's life.
Anti-war activists like Michael Moore
blasted the movie and used it to promote their agendas.
Those criticisms aside, acclaim for Coopers' role as Kyle seems to be mostly positive.
He transformed his body
into one that looked like Kyle's by packing on 40 pounds of muscle in 10 weeks. He upped his weight to around 225 pounds through a strength training regimen and by consuming more than 5,000 calories a day.
"I don’t think I’ll realize it fully until maybe later in my life. It was life changing. Completely," Cooper said earlier this month.
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