| Flicks

FLICKS: Song One & American Sniper

Posted on 22 January 2015 by LeslieM

By Dave Montalbano


Much like his previous success with the Oscar winner Million Dollar Baby and the box office champion Gran Torino, Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper has managed to break a January box office record with an amazing $104 million gross.

It has garnered six Oscar nominations, including best picture and best actor (Bradley Cooper’s performance as Navy Seal shooter Chris Kyle).

The film opens in a most dramatic fashion. While stationed on a rooftop in Iraq, Kyle targets a woman and a boy. In his telescopic lens, Kyle spots a hand grenade. Should he take the shot or not?

The film flashes back to Kyle’s youth in Texas. A successful rodeo rider, Kyle watches CNN news and sees an American Embassy being bombed. He realizes his life’s calling – to protect and defend the people of the United States of America.

American Sniper focuses on Kyle’s four tours of duty. While on leave, Kyle and his wife, Taya (Sienna Miller) raises two kids and attempts to adjust to civilian life. Yet, Kyle is haunted by the soldiers he feels he is abandoning on the battlefield.

From the opening scene to the quiet closing credits, everything about this film feels appropriate. As “the Legend,” Bradley Cooper gives a genuine performance of stoic emotion. He is a true soldier who cannot acknowledge his vulnerability — even to the woman he loves. American Sniper deserves its Oscar and Box Office success.

For quieter fair, Song One opens tomorrow, starring Anne Hathaway and Mary Steenburgen. This is a quiet drama about a guitar singer who becomes brain damaged after being hit by a taxicab. His estranged sister Franny (Hathaway) tries to reconnect with her comatose brother through his interests.

Song One is a simple, sweet movie about musical therapy. Romance blooms, but that is not the focal part of this fascinating movie. This film is about the importance of reconnecting a loved one through art and entertainment.

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