Americans would vote American Sniper to win Best Picture at the Oscars

25 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

American Sniper’s Chances Rise in the Oscar Race.

In this image released by Warner Bros. The day after Oscar nominations, while clearing away the “Lego” rubble, award season consultants began calling, repeating the same fear-soaked refrain: Beware the Phase Two Harvey. Meryl’s best supporting actress nod for her portrayal of the Witch in Rob Marshall’s “Into the Woods” brings her total to 19, way ahead of Jack Nicholson and the late Katharine Hepburn, who have 12 each. Boyhood and Whiplash, two hits from the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, would battle for Best Picture against British twins The Imitation Game and The Theory of Everything, those clever entertainments Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel and, most aptly, the Martin Luther King Jr. biopic Selma. … Pictures, Keith Bernstein) If ordinary Americans voted for the Academy Awards, American Sniper, Clint Eastwood’s portrait of a sniper in the Iraq war, would be the best picture winner, according to the annual Reuters/Ipsos Oscars poll.

The film starring Bradley Cooper as the late Navy Seal Chris Kyle was cited by 22 per cent of respondents as the movie that should win the top Oscar among the eight nominees, according to an online survey of Americans conducted on January 16-23. It’s as if film’s current artistic collective decided to figure out what subject matter works for contemporary audiences — whether it spans the years or zeros in on a particular critical event.

Boyhood, the coming-of-age story filmed over 12 years with the same actors and a favourite to win best picture, was third in the survey with four per cent. Chris Pine, directors JJ Abrams and Alfonso Cuaron and Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs read this year’s list in early morning rites attended by select media from around the world. The Eastwood-directed film, currently No. 1 at the North American box office, has become a flashpoint of debate between liberals and conservatives over the morality of war and the role of snipers.

The world’s preeminent living actress is up against Patricia Arquette (“Boyhood”), Laura Dern (“Wild”), Keira Knightley (“The Imitation Game”) and Emma Stone (“Birdman”). Its 12-year journey to the screen makes for a terrific hook — both for storytelling and as a narrative for voters wanting to reward something special. Selma was also at the centre of the upheaval over the lack of diversity in the Oscar nominations announced last week, which excluded the film’s African-American female director and lead actor.

The label has become, or perhaps it always was, a pejorative term, dismissive of the idea itself, hinting at a kind of overly earnest, fawning film that clings more to the mythology of a life than the reality of it and is probably dull to boot. And actors — who make up 20% of the academy — love the passion behind the project, wishing that writer-director Richard Linklater had offered them a chance to craft a character over the course of a dozen years. I’m just really f***ing excited.” Laura, who plays the mother of memoirist Cheryl Strayed (Reese Witherspoon) in Jean-Marc Vallée’s adaptation of the best-selling book “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail,” said, “I share this with Reese, who worked so diligently to protect this story, and our amazing producers, as well as Jean-Marc Vallée and Nick Hornby, who gave their art to shape ‘Wild.’” Michael Keaton, also a first-time Oscar nominee at age 63, thanks to his acclaimed lead performance in Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu’s “Birdman,” remarked, “Humbled and, more than anything, grateful.

It has also won best picture prizes from groups that love to tout their ability to predict the Oscars (the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. and Broadcast Film Critics) and those who simply love film (the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. and the New York Film Critics Circle). “Budapest Hotel” became the first Wes Anderson movie to receive a best picture nomination, a long overdue honor that the academy extended to include nods for Anderson as director and writer. I am proud to be a part of such a bold, gutsy and daring experiment… Now, if you’ll excuse me, I am going to try as best I can [to] wipe this smile off my face. Wish me luck.” “Birdman” tied with Wes Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel” for the most nominations with nine each, followed by Morten Tyldum’s “The Imitation Game” with eight.

Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper” and Robert Linklater’s “Boyhood” snagged six each; James Marsh’s “The Theory of Everything,” Chris Nolan’s “Interstellar” and Damien Chazelle’s “Whiplash,” five each. But, despite Benedict Cumberbatch’s lovely lead turn, the movie has struggled to find the same regard as “The King’s Speech,” a film it’s often compared to. “Speech” scored an 88 with the review aggregator Metacritic; “Imitation Game” rated a 72.

Their stories are especially tempting for those in the movie trade, coming as they do fully realized — the charismatic appeal, dramatic arcs, unimaginable plot twists are built in. We feel deeply honored, thrilled and, frankly, very, very pleased with ourselves.” Richard Linklater, who also bagged a best director citation, said on behalf of “Boyhood”: “It’s a huge honor for the film but I am most excited for my long-time collaborators of over 20 years—Sandra Adair and Ethan Hawke—and for our new, well, not-so-new partners Cathleen Sutherland and Patricia Arquette.

The director’s Oscar winners “Born on the Fourth of July” in 1989 and “JFK” in 1991 and in 2008 the underappreciated “W.” stand among his better films, his go at the famed military strategist of Macedonia, “Alexander,” in 2004 an embarrassment. And Bennett Miller, also in the current directors’ race with “Foxcatcher,” may find it tough to top the memory of his taut, well-told “Capote” (2005). Marion is vying against Julianne Moore (“Still Alice”), Reese Witherspoon (“Wild”), and two first-timers, Felicity Jones (“Theory…”) and Rosamund Pike (“Gone Girl”).

Linklater has long reveled in revealing truths great and small through moments and not plot, and “Boyhood” represents the fullest expression of his knack for pulling this off. The other nominees are Robert Duvall (“The Judge”), Ethan Hawke (“Boyhood”), Edward Norton (“Birdman”) and Mark Ruffalo (“Foxcatcher”).

In the best foreign film derby, the five who made it from a shortlist of nine are: “Ida” (Poland), “Leviathan” (Russia), “Tangerines” (Estonia), “Timbuktu” (Mauritania) and “Wild Tales” (Argentina). Gus Van Sant’s straightforward but emotionally evocative look at slain gay political activist Harvey Milk in “Milk.” That very eclecticism of storytelling and style has characterized some of the recent best picture winners. Last year’s “12 Years a Slave,” based on freeman Solomon Northup’s antebellum memoir of his kidnapping and years spent on Southern plantations, used a life to make the abstraction of slavery concrete. “Argo,” in 2012, was rooted in one CIA agent’s brash plan to rescue American hostages in Iran and played like a spy thriller. Roy, Chris and I… thank everyone at Disney Animation who made this possible.” Colleen Atwood, the Meryl Streep in costume design, earned another nod, solidifying her status as the most nominated living designer with 12. And the winner is: Chazelle for “Whiplash.” The academy’s surprising decision to move “Whiplash” (which Chazelle initially shot as a short film to convince financiers he could do the job) from original to adapted gives a young filmmaker a much better chance to become a young, Oscar-winning filmmaker.

Roger thanked his “Unbroken” director, Angelina Jolie: “I’m glad to be representing ‘Unbroken’ but in the end, I’m just happy to… work on the films that I do and to work with such inspiring directors as Angie.” “Champagne! Twice!” exclaimed Paris native Alexandre Desplat in reaction to his two nods. “What an incredible honor to be recognized this year for two of my scores! Not all made the Oscar cut, but among those that did, they snagged 35 nominations across the major categories, including best picture, four of eight; director, two of five; actor, four of five; actress, two of five. There are, however, far more failures: “Amelia,” Mira Nair’s nosediving account of pilot Amelia Earhart starring Hilary Swank; “Beyond the Sea,” with Kevin Spacey directing and starring in this off-key account of crooner Bobby Darin; the laughable look at Apple genius Steve Jobs in 2013’s “Jobs,” starring Ashton Kutcher, to name a few. To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

You can see that struggle being played out now: Ava DuVernay’s “Selma” is in the hot seat with historians picking apart its depiction of President Lyndon B. In contrast, Angelina Jolie’s “Unbroken” is bearing criticism for being so by-the-book in recounting WWII-vet Louis Zamperini’s remarkable survival story in such detail as to be unsurprising. Though Meryl Streep’s portrayal of Margaret Thatcher in “The Iron Lady” a few years ago earned her an Oscar, the film itself failed Thatcher and moviegoers.

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