Five men are competing for an acting award tonight that is going to draw more than the usual amount of attention.
I’ve got my favorite and I’ll declare right here: I want Bradley Cooper to win the Oscar for Best Actor.
Am I an expert on films? Hardly. Do I know enough about acting techniques to make an educated assessment of who should win? Not even close.
I haven’t even seen all the performances. But I’ve seen “American Sniper,” the film that stars Cooper as the late Chris Kyle, the Navy SEAL sniper credited with 160 “kills” while serving four tours in Iraq.
OK, so my wish for Cooper to win the Oscar isn’t even as educated as it should be. But I have heard the debate about the film and have come to my own conclusion about it: To my way of thinking, “American Sniper” does not glorify war; it does not endorse a war policy, nor does it condemn it. The film tells a gripping story about a young man who signed up to fight for his country, did his duty and struggled with the terrible — but lawful — orders he was required to carry out.
“American Sniper” is an important film that has drawn considerable comment from those on the left and the right.
This weekend, I had a conversation with a retired Amarillo police officer who’s also seen the film. He was highly critical of the “far left wackos” who’ve criticized the movie. My friend tilts to the right; I tilt to the left, although I don’t consider myself to be a far left wacko. I tried to calm my friend down a bit by reminding him that the wackos to whom he refers don’t necessarily represent mainstream progressive thinkers.
Indeed, I’ve been critical of some of those critics — such as filmmaker Michael Moore, who labeled snipers as “cowards.”
My former cop friend thinks the left-leaning motion picture academy will be highly reluctant to support Cooper for Best Actor Oscar because of the content of the film.
I remain cautiously optimistic that my friend has it wrong.
Would I think differently if I had seen all the actors’ performances under consideration? That’s a hypothetical question, so I cannot answer it.
I’ll just stand by my hope that Bradley Cooper tonight wins the Oscar.