It might have broken box office records last weekend, but American Sniper has been widely mocked for its use of an obviously fake baby.
One scene in the Oscar-nominated movie sees lead stars Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller pass a crying child to each other but unfortunately, their little darling is very clearly made of plastic.
The only nomination I'd give American Sniper is for best fake baby.— Andrew Batista (@Andrew_Batista) January 15, 2015
I don't get all the American Sniper love. But I do understand Bradley Cooper's nom.He had to hold that fake baby and not laugh.That's skill!— Ruth (@BabyRuthCT) January 15, 2015
If you haven't seen American Sniper yet, be sure to pay attention to their glorious newborn baby girl. It didn't move an inch, so talented— Amirose Eisenbach (@Amirosie) January 17, 2015
“I have never seen so many terrible fake babies in one film,” Camilla Long wrote in The Sunday Times, while website HitFlix was amused that “Cooper looks like he’s just plain never held a baby”.
Director Clint Eastwood is yet to comment on baby-gate, but when your film is on track to become the highest-grossing war movie ever, you probably don’t care much.
Laws relating to the use of babies in films are very strict in California, where part of American Sniper was shot. Children must be at least 15 days old and, up until the age of six months, can only be employed once for two consecutive hours – between 9.30 and 11.30am or 2.30 and 4.30pm. They must have a work permit and a doctor’s note to start a job. Furthermore, there must be a studio teacher and a nurse on set.
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
With all this faff, it seems understandable to skip the real baby part. But American Sniper screenwriter and executive producer Jason Hall has offered another explanation, telling journalist Mark Harris that a fake was only used when the real baby fell ill.
“Hate to ruin the fun but real baby #1 showed up with a fever,” Hall tweeted. “Real baby #2 was no show. (Clint voice) Gimme the doll, kid.”
Hall’s post has since been deleted, but was reported by The Hollywood Reporter yesterday.