Just when you thought you knew everything about the Oscar race, here’s some news: Clint Eastwood’s excellent film “American Sniper” nominated for Best Picture, set a box office record on Friday. With $30.5 million in one night, “Sniper” is the largest single January opening ever. The film could clear $80-90 million by the end of Friday.
Surprise! Bradley Cooper has his third Oscar nod in a row as Chris Kyle. Cooper is currently getting raves on Broadway in “The Elephant Man.” His final performance is the night before the Oscars. Does he pose a threat to Best Actor leader Michael Keaton? I’d say yes. And now that David Oyelowo has been snubbed in “Selma” as Martin Luther King Jr., I’d say that Cooper is my new choice for Best Actor.
Eastwood and Cooper get the last laugh. Eastwood, 84, was being dismissed after his disappointing take on “Jersey Boys.” Cooper was considered an also ran in the Oscar race. But I told you last month that I could not get that performance out of my head. It really resonated. There was a fear that the Oscar voters and blue staters aka liberals would not get “Sniper.” But Cooper, Eastwood, and co-star Sienna Miller make this movie an all too human story.
The problem with this year’s Oscars is that there weren’t 6 or 7 slots for Best Actor. Yes, Oyelowo was cheated. But the five who made it are all deserving. And now I think Bradley Cooper may surprise everyone yet.