Monday Morning Quarterback Part II
By BOP Staff
January 21, 2015
Kim Hollis: Do you think American Sniper's opening weekend results increase its chances for a Best Picture win?
Edwin Davies: It definitely increases them in that it gives the film more buzz and visibility, though I think it might be too little, too late. It gives the race a shot of adrenaline, but Boyhood has such momentum and is such a bigger achievement that I think American Sniper will struggle to get traction at this late stage. It's also worth considering that the film did not land a Best Director nomination, and it's still rare for a film without that to win Best Picture. I know Argo did it two years ago, but that was a different case since that film had been a big part of the awards conversation for months, whereas American Sniper was barely in the conversation four days ago.
Most likely this result will improve the film's chances of winning some of the other Oscars that it is nominated for. Michael Keaton's win for Birdman looks a little less certain than it did a few days ago.
J. Don Birnam: I agree with Edwin - the movie just guaranteed a win in the sound categories and likely editing, and Best Actor is also within the realm. Honestly, I wouldn't discount it for BP, either. It's a crazy enough year.
Felix Quinonez: I definitely think this increases its chances at Oscar glory. At the end of the day awards for movies (or any sort of art) are always subjective. There's no quantifiable way for one person to say one movie is better than another. So it boils down to people giving their opinions. And this huge opening will definitely give a lot of buzz to American Sniper and get people talking about it which will have an impact when Oscar members vote for the awards.
Michael Lynderey: There's no question the box office increases its chances, yes. But it's pretty unprecedented for box office alone to carry what otherwise would have been an also-ran contender all the way across the finish line, and to a win. Boyhood is a really beloved film by Oscar voters (or at least so I've been told), so it would seem exceedingly difficult for a movie like this, which doesn't really have unanimous critical praise, to outmaneuver it. Having said that, given the many surprises among the nominations, and the comically high weekend take for American Sniper, just about anything seems possible at this point. Though I'm always reminded of the year The Hurt Locker beat Avatar. The box office difference between those two films was certainly significant, you could say.
Bruce Hall: There's no such thing as bad publicity, as they say. But several other films have had far more traction than American Sniper prior to this weekend, so I'm not sure it's enough to catch up. I agree that the lack of a Best Director nod hurts its chances, at least if you believe in statistics. And - no offense to Mr Eastwood - I think there are other films in nomination that stand as more significant accomplishments artistically.
Still, it makes for good conversation and stranger things have happened. It will no doubt win a handful of technical awards, but the sudden groundswell of goodwill for American Sniper could yet pay off in ways far more significant.