The 87th Academy Awards are coming this weekend, and the military blockbuster American Sniper has been nominated for six Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Bradley Cooper’s role as Navy SEAL sharpshooter Chris Kyle.
Some veterans groups and Kyle’s family and friends have mostly praised the movie for its portrayal of urban combat in Iraq, Kyle himself, and veteran struggles with post-traumatic stress. However, the movie strays from the truth on some aspects of Kyle’s life and deployments.
We round-up the biggest factual inaccuracies with the film:
The emphasis on Syrian sniper Mustafa
The movie, on the other hand, shows Mustafa stalking Kyle and his Navy SEAL colleagues through multiple cities and deployments in Iraq over several years. Kyle eventually kills him with a shot of more than 2,100 yards — a major moment in the film and purportedly the SEAL’s longest shot ever. He did take a shot that long, but it hit an insurgent with a rocket-propelled grenade launcher, according to his book.
In reality, it’s highly unlikely that one insurgent sniper would have appeared in that many different locations during the Iraq War. Jason Hall, the film’s screenwriter, told The Washington Post that including Mustafa in so much of the film acted as connective tissue and made Kyle’s four deployments less “episodic.” Kyle did not kill him.
Kyle’s prominent use of the satellite phone
In reality, Kyle wrote in his book that his wife experienced something like that just once. Hall, the screenwriter, said he expanded the use of the satellite phone in the movie so that viewers could see them communicate while he was deployed. The couple also used e-mail, but that is not shown in the movie.
The death of fellow SEAL Ryan Job
Kyle witnessed two of his SEAL teammates get seriously wounded in combat. One of them, Ryan Job, took a gunshot to the face in 2006, and died in 2009 while in surgery. His death occurred after he got married and had climbed Mount Rainier, according to his obituary.
However, the film shows Job dying earlier, while Kyle is in Iraq on his last deployment. The altered timeline provided motivation for Kyle to kill the Syrian sniper in the movie.
Kyle’s last day
In reality, Kyle picked up the veteran — Eddie Ray Routh — at Routh’s house. Routh shot and killed Kyle and his friend, Chad Littlefield, at a rifle range where the three men had gone to hang out.
Routh stole Kyle’s pickup truck and led police on a high-speed chase before he was captured. Routh’s murder trial is now underway. His lawyers, who do not dispute that Routh killed Kyle and Littlefield, are arguing for a verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity.
Oscars 2015 nominations
Oscars 2015 nominations
1/28 Birdman - 10 nominations
Academy Award nominated for Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress (Emma Stone), Best Actor (Michael Keaton), Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Cinematography, Original Screenplay, Best Director (Alejandro González Iñárritu)
2/28 The Grand Budapest Hotel - 10 nominations
Academy Award nominated for Best Director (Wes Anderson), Best Picture, Film Editing, Production Design, for Makeup and Hairstyling, Costume Design, Cinematography, Original Screenplay, Original Score
3/28 The Imitation Game - 8 nominations
Academy Award nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor (Benedict Cumberbatch), Best Supporting Actor ( Keira Knightley) Best Director (Morten Tyldum), Film Editing, Production Design, Adapted Screenplay, Original Score
4/28 American Sniper - 6 nominations
Oscar nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor (Bradley Cooper), Film Editing, Sound Mixing, Adapted Screenplay
5/28 Boyhood - 6 nominations
Academy Award nominated for Best Picture, Actress in Supporting role (Patricia Arquette) Film Editing, Best Director (Richard Linklater), Original Screenplay
6/28 Whiplash - 5 nominations
Academy Award nominated for Best Picture, Film Editing, Sound Mixing, Adapted Screenplay
7/28 The Theory of Everything - 5 nominations
Oscar nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor (Eddie Redmayne), Best Actress (Felicity Jones), Adapted Screenplay, Original Score
Working Title Films
8/28 Foxcatcher - 5 nominations
Oscar nominated for Best Director (Bennett Miller), Best Actor (Steve Carrell), Original Screenplay, Makeup and Hairstyling
9/28 Selma - 2 nominations
Oscar nominated for Best Picture and Best Original Song
10/28 Mr Turner
Oscar nominated for Production Design, Costume Design, Cinematography, Original Score
Reese Witherspoon is Oscar-nominated for best actress in a leading role and Laura Dern is nominated for best supporting actress
12/28 Two Days, One Night
Marion Cotillard has been nominated in the best actress category
Oscar nominated for Original Screenplay
14/28 Gone Girl
Rosamund Pike is Oscar nominated for best actress in a leading role
Twentieth Century Fox
Nominated for Visual Effects, Sound Editing, Production Design, Sound Mixing, Original Score
16/28 Still Alice
Best actress in a leading role nomination for Julianne Moore
17/28 The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies
Oscar nominated for Sound Editing
18/28 Into The Woods
Oscar nominated for Production Design, Costume Design, Best Supporting Actress (Meryl Streep)
19/28 Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Robert Redford and Chris Evans film is nominated for Special Effects
20/28 Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Nominated for an Oscar in the Visual Effects category
20th Century Fox
21/28 The Lego Movie
Oscar nominated for best song 'Everything Is Awesome' but snubbed in best animation category
22/28 X-Men, Days of the Future Past
Oscar nominated in the Visual Effects category
Alan Markfield / 2013 Marvel & Subs / 20th Century Fox Film Corp.
23/28 Begin Again
Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo in Begin Again which is Oscar nominated for best original song
24/28 Guardians Of The Galaxy
Nominated for Visual Effects, for Makeup and Hairstyling
Oscar nominated for Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Cinematography
26/28 How To Train Your Dragon 2
Oscar nominated for Animated Feature Film
Oscar nominated for Costume Design
© Disney Enterprises, Inc.
28/28 Inherent Vice
Oscar nominated for Adapted Screenplay
Copyright: Washington Post