Angelina Jolie, Richard Linklater and more vie for Oscar Gold
Clint Eastwood ("American Sniper")
Pros: Clint is Clint. He maintains a level of respect in the industry and tends to get a pass from critics even when his work is objectively standard. Nevertheless, "American Sniper" is one of his stronger works in a couple of years.
Cons: There are some tense action beats and there's a great leading performance from Bradley Cooper here, but the typically light hand from Eastwood doesn't make it spark as a grand directorial achievement. It might find passion to slide into the Best Picture race but securing one of the five director slots is a whole other battle (forgive the pun).
- Kristopher Tapley