In the wake of Oscar nominations, Academy members begin buzzing over recent criticism of the film’s subject, Chris Kyle
Even as “American Sniper” breaks January box-office records and revels in six Oscar nominations, criticism over the subject of the film, sharpshooter Chris Kyle, is rising and reaching into the Academy of Motion Picture of Arts and Sciences, which votes on the Academy Awards.
Over the weekend, multiple Academy members told TheWrap that they had been passing around a recent article by Dennis Jett in The New Republic that attacks the film for making a hero out of Kyle, who said: “The enemy are savages and despicably evil,” and his “only regret is that I didn’t kill more.” Kyle made the statements in his best-selling book, “American Sniper,” on which the film is based.
The film’s straightforward treatment of Kyle, who was killed in February 2013 by a veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, is one of the reasons it has been celebrated by the military and embraced by audiences that have made it by far the top-grossing Best Picture nominee. The film had a massive opening when it went wide at the box office this weekend and is poised to break an historic $100 million this holiday weekend.
But Academy members seem to be paying attention to the criticism that Eastwood and star/producer Bradley Cooper shouldn’t be celebrating a man who wrote that killing hundreds of Iraqis was “fun.”