Second Poster for Clint Eastwood’s ‘American Sniper’

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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.

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From director Clint Eastwood comes American Sniper, starring Bradley Cooper as Chris Kyle, the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history. But there was much more to him than his skill as a sharpshooter.

U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle is sent to Iraq with only one mission: to protect his brothers-in-arms. His pinpoint accuracy saves countless lives on the battlefield and, as stories of his courageous exploits spread, he earns the nickname “Legend.” However, his reputation is also growing behind enemy lines, putting a price on his head and making him a prime target of insurgents. He is also facing a different kind of battle on the home front: striving to be a good husband and father from halfway around the world.

Despite the danger, as well as the toll on his family at home, Chris serves through four harrowing tours of duty in Iraq, personifying the SEAL creed to “leave no man behind.” But upon returning to his wife, Taya Renae Kyle (Sienna Miller), and kids, Chris finds that it is the war he can’t leave behind.

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