One Bullet Can Tell the Story
Directed by Clint Eastwood (Jersey Boys) and starring Bradley Cooper (American Hustle), American Sniper is the Oscar nominee that you need to see. Based on Chris Kyle's true story, the Navy SEAL Sniper's accuracy saves hundreds of lives and he becomes a legend. However, when back at home with his wife and 2 kids, Chris can't seem to leave the war behind. Does this film have the potential to shoot down Boyhood at the Oscars?
I really think so. American Sniper is a film that everybody should see. It is so respectful and honourable to Chris Kyle. I really liked the plot of this film - it was action packed as well as heartfelt and emotional. I can't really pick out any plot holes which suggests that Eastwood didn't sugarcoat the story and kept it as true as possible. It is very unique for a 'true story' film to not be enhanced and made more exciting for the big screen - Kyle's story is exciting enough. I was unaware of Kyle's story before watching this film but now I have so much respect for him. He really was a legend! The screenplay was written very well by Jason Hall - he deserves the Oscar nod. Some of American Sniper was really shocking, there is a scene when a young, innocent boy is holding a grenade and walking towards the troops, this was such a disturbing (but probably truthful) sight. It was also really interesting to see scenes from the battlefield as well as scenes from back at home - it made the film a lot more realistic.
Besides from the story, I was really impressed with Bradley Cooper. He has been on a roll recently - with critically acclaimed films Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle. I thought that he played the role of Kyle really well and was very convincing. I think that he was very respectful to Kyle which was nice to see. I don't think Cooper has ever played a role like this before so he was out of his comfort zone but you can't tell- his performance is very natural. In his past few films, Cooper has always had a co-star that has shared his spotlight. American Sniper really has proven (in my opinion) what a strong and excellent actor his is - he held the film really well. I am routing for Bradley Cooper at this years Oscar ceremony!
All of the other acting in this film was also very well done. Sienna Miller (Foxcatcher) was excellent. She got into the role of a (temporary) single mother really well. The audience can really connect with and feel for her character.
I don't usually notice the scores of films that are not musicals. However, I was really impressed with the soundtrack of American Sniper. I thought the music choices were bold but they suited the moment. They helped increase adrenaline and excitement in particular scenes. Sound from one scene to another was also edited and mixed very well - this helped the film to run smoothly.
The special effects were done brilliantly - it was like a real battlefield. The scene that stood out for me was when Kyle shoots at a target from a very large distance. I enjoyed how the scene went into slow motion - the whole moment was very artistic and excellent to watch. As the iconic moment of Kyle's story, I think it was done excellently.
The ending was also very respectful. Some may not like the fact that it wasn't graphic or violent but I don't feel that it needed to be those two things as that would be completely disrespectful. This film was a true story, Kyle was a real person, he has a family - I am sure they wouldn't want to watch a reenactment of such a tragic moment. I am so pleased that Eastwood made the decisions he did.
Clint Eastwood at his directorial best, Bradley Cooper's best performance in a long time and a very admirable story. American Sniper has it all. Watch out Boyhood, this is one you have to see!