|Nominated for 2 Oscars this |
year; 4 in the past 3 years
Disclaimer: I have written about the tragedy and the stupidity of the invasion of Iraq many time: George W. Bush and Dick Cheney orchestrated an oil grab that went really badly. They are war criminals and guilty of crimes against peace. This isn't about the war, or even the real Chris Kyle.
America Sniper is great and that greatness really stands on the shoulders of Bradley Cooper's performance. Cooper gives an amazingly complex if seemingly straight-forward performance. How alike or different that character is from the real is a different conversation that I'm not knowledgeable enough to have. Cooper is wonderful, commanding, and goddamn it hot as hell in the role. He starts hot and just gets hotter with every scene. The entire cast is great, but it's Cooper's movie, and he is flawless.
As much as I loved Michael Keaton in Birdman and Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game, Cooper brings more to this. A critic I follow on Twitter said something about 2014 having more really great movies than any year in the recent past and while I don't remember who, I grow more enthusiastic about the year with each additional movie I see (if you don't count Black or White).
The technical and creative elements of the movie are all fine and I only recall Cooper's eyes, his grin, and his breathing. Yes, also his body in the tight t-shirt but that was just a pretty bonus.
I'm eager to see The Theory of Everything just to figure out if Cooper can take out Eddie Redmayne. At lot of folks are wondering if Sniper can win Best Picture--its a well-timed blockbuster but its Metacritic score trails Birdman, Boyhood and Selma. I won't begrudge any of those 4 or The Imitation Game a win there (but Imitation lacks any momentum aside from being a Weinstein Company picture [and that's not nothing]).
If there's a loser in all this greatness its what little esteem I had for Foxcatcher.