I’ve noticed a few Oscar pundits placing Clint Eastwood‘s American Sniper rather high on some of their Oscar charts. I’ve moved Eastwood into the top five on my Best Director chart and screenwriter Jason Dean Hall into my Adapted Screenplay chart, but I can’t quite pull the trigger in categories such as Best Actor and Picture. That said, reaction to the trailer was quite strong and Warner Bros. clearly intends to make it the last minute darling of the Oscar season, holding it from any kind of festival performance as it was just announced Paul Thomas Anderson‘s Inherent Vice will be the Centerpiece Gala screening at the AFI Film Festival.
Sniper is set for a Christmas Day release and should the film find Oscar glory it will be 2004 all over again, which is the last time I can remember a film sweeping in at the last minute and taking home all the hardware. That film, of course, was Eastwood’s Million Dollar Baby. Can he do it again?
While you ponder that question, here’s a new poster for the film featuring Bradley Cooper as the lead character, Navy SEAL Chris Kyle in the story based on his autobiography.