Why didn’t ‘American Sniper’ win Oscar for Best Picture?

Feb 23, 2015, 7:12 PM
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Over 36 million viewers tuned in Sunday to watch the most glamorous night on television — the 87th Annual Academy Awards.

One of the biggest nominees of the night was “American Sniper,” a biological drama based on the life of former U.S. Navy SEAL and deadliest sniper in military history, Chris Kyle. The film went into the Oscars with six nominations, including the most-coveted award of the night, Best Picture.

In a shocking turn of events,”Birdman,” starring Michael Keaton, came out on top, winning Best Picture as well as three other Oscars.

“Sniper,” which brought in $300 million in box office sales domestically, over half of the revenue of all eight nominees combined, was a fan-favorite for the award. In an attempt to explain the Academy’s decision, VH1 created a list of the six reasons why “American Sniper” did not win Best Picture.

There was too much controversy surrounding the film

Since the release of “Sniper,” many critics argued that the film left out many of Kyle’s faults. The film also garnered up discussion across all platforms, turning the focus from the quality of veterans’ care to an argument on war propaganda.

Box office revenue doesn’t make a Best Picture

“Sniper” grossed over $429 million in worldwide box office revenue, but every film that shatters box office records does not walk away with an Oscar. James Cameron’s “Avatar,” the highest-grossing film of all time, lost Best Picture to “The Hurt Locker,” which grossed only $49 million worldwide.

The film was never in the running

The speculation going into this year’s Oscars argued the only Best Picture nominees in the running were Alejandro González Iñárritu’s “Birdman” and Richard Linklater’s “Boyhood.”

The Academy did not want to please Clint Eastwood

Eastwood, who has been directing since the 1970s, has seen two out of five of his nominated films win the Best Picture Oscar. Eastwood has been snubbed for the possible inclusion of his politics into the movie, which most likely also turned away Academy voters.

The Bradley Cooper curse

Bradley Cooper, who starred as Kyle in the film, has now seen four Oscar nominations — and subsequently four Oscar losses. Cooper, who lost both the Best Picture and Best Actor in a Leading Role for “Sniper,” also saw losses for 2012’s “Silver Linings Playbook” and 2013’s “American Hustle.”

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Why didn’t ‘American Sniper’ win Oscar for Best Picture?