Director Clint Eastwood's new film, AMERICAN SNIPER, has earned Oscar nominations for Best Picture and Best Actor.
It's based on the life of Navy SEAL, Chris Kyle, the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history, a man credited with 160 kills.
Basically, AMERICAN SNIPER is a good movie with a great performance by Bradley Cooper.
Cooper gained 35 pounds and learned to speak with a Texas accent to play Chris Kyle, and he richly deserves his nomination for his performance as a patriotic soldier who is in denial about the profound psychological damage he suffered from killing so many people.
( Visual: he takes a shot and a car explodes.)
AMERICAN SNIPER shows what Chris Kyle did in Iraq and what what killing all those people did to him.
Therapist: Let me ask you a question, Chris.? Would you be surprised if I told you that the Navy has credited you with over 160 kills?…Do you ever think that you might have seen things or done some things over there that you wish you hadn't?
Kyle: Oh, that's not me, no.
Therapist: What's not you?
Kyle: I was just protecting my guys. They were trying to kill our soldiers and I'm willing to meet my creator and answer for every shot that I took…..
The thing that haunts me are all the guys that I couldn't save.
Chris Kyle was a married father of two who served four tours in Iraq.
Kyle (watching an Iraqi boy next to a rocket launcher): “Don't pick it up….Drop it….” (He agonizes over whether to pull his trigger.)
His wife is convincingly played by Sienna Miller.
Wife: Your children have no father.
Kyle: I have to serve my country.
Wife: You don't know when to quit. You did your part. You sacrificed enough; you let somebody else go.
Like so many soldiers, Kyle bonds with his comrades in arms and when he finally does get out of the service, he suffers from post traumatic stress syndrome, so much so that he finds it difficult to actually go home.
Wife: You're home? What are you doin'?
Kyle: I guess I just needed a minute.
Wife: Chris, the kids are dying to see you; it's been 9 months.
Kyle: I'm coming home.
AMERICAN SNIPER deals honestly with the emotional problems soldiers experience after seeing friends die and after killing people in a war, no matter how justified their actions are.
Unfortunately, the script tries to do a little too much, and I could see plot points coming before they arrived.
Still, the importance of the subject and Bradley Cooper's riveting performance make this a must-see movie.