Chris Kyle (Bradley Cooper) was a rodeo rider who became a Navy SEAL sniper, killed a whole bunch of people whilst deployed in the Middle East, and then returned home with PTSD. Along the way, he got married and had some kids.
The film goes for over two hours, and yet it just seemed to fly past – it is dealing with fairly major issues, but brushes them off. I’m not a big fan of Clint Eastwood’s directing, but this film doesn’t seem to know what story it is telling – I suspect it is looking at the differences between him at work and back at home, but I’m not sure. In fact, it really annoyed me the way that it ‘dealt’ with issues. Spoiler alert: he seems to cure his PTSD by sitting in group therapy with some men who have come back quite injured and by helping them in their training. And then he’s fine… and he shows this by sneaking through the house and jokingly threatens his wife with a gun? What? Mind you, she is portrayed as a grumpy cow who didn’t even want to let him buy her a drink, and when they get married she nags and nags and nags. Yet this was nominated for an Oscar – perhaps we don’t need depth to our characters anymore.
American Sniper won an Oscar for Best Achievement in Sound Editing and was nominated for Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role (Bradley Cooper), Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay (Jason Hall), Best Achievement in Film Editing, and Best Achievement in Sound Mixing.