Saturday, April 13, 2024

Oscars: Today in LA “Selma” and “American Sniper”– The Big Question Marks– Will Be Screened


Today in Los Angeles at the AFI Fest, the two remaining films of the Oscar season will be screened. “Selma,” by Ava Duvernay, and Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper” will be unveiled. No one knows anything about them. Are they good? Are they good enough? They are definitely needed in what I really think is a soft year for serious Best Picture contenders. “Selma,” especially, because of  its social history, is needed to be an Important Film. Plus, without it, there may be no black nominees. The sad part of this is that black nominees can only come from “black” movies. But that’s another story.

“American Sniper” is very timely given new revelations and books by NAVY Seals. Bradley Cooper plays Chris Kyle, a much awarded Seal whose tragic end came in in the US, not on tour. Sienna Miller plays his wife. Given Eastwood’s track record with this kind of film (go watch “Letters from Iwo Jima”–it’s stunning), “Sniper” could be his crowning achievement. I sure hope it is.

If these two come into play today as Best Picture contenders, then I think they list would also include: Boyhood, Foxcatcher, Imitation Game, Theory of Everything, Grand Budapest Hotel, Whiplash, St. Vincent, and Birdman. Spoilers could be The Humbling (if released), and Into the Woods.

So we shall see. Stay tuned…

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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