There are a few cinematic biopics that will open in limited released on Christmas Day this year, so that they can be taken into consideration for the big awards shows in early 2015. One such project is American Sniper, as directed by Clint Eastwood and scripted by Jason Hall (Paranoia), based on the memoir "American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History" by the late Chris Kyle.
Kyle is portrayed in Eastwood's film by Bradley Cooper, and the first American Sniper trailer highlighted one of the numerous incidents in his life where Kyle had to decide whether or not to shoot down a potential threat - knowing all too well that he would have terrible consequences to face should his instincts prove off... either way.
The second theatrical preview for American Sniper (watch it above) is on the whole more conventional in its design than its predecessor. However, by offering a somewhat vague yet all the same compelling portrait of Kyle, this trailer leaves you intrigued and wanting to know more about his story. Also featured prominently here is Sienna Miller as Kyle's wife, Taya Renae Kyle, though she doesn't have a whole lot to do in the trailer beyond worrying about her husband's well-being (and with fair reason, at that).
American Sniper was passed over for recognition at the 2015 Golden Globes ceremony, but so far reviews for the movie has been pretty respectable on the whole. Eastwood's recent films have tended to get a lukewarm reception from critics, but Sniper has earned praise from the likes of THR, with its review applauding the movie for being "a taut, vivid and sad account" of Kyle's life. On the opposite side of the fence, though, EW calls Sniper a "repetition of context-free combat missions and one-dimensional targets."
Other cinematic memoirs that will be opening in limited release next week (and then expanding after New Year's Day) include the Louis Zamperini biography/war drama Unbroken - which, like Sniper, didn't land any Globe nods from the Hollywood Foreign Press - as well as the Martin Luther King Jr. drama Selma, which received four Golden Globe nods. All of these films (Sniper included) seem to have something worthwhile to offer to the general moviegoing public, though, all this awards season talk aside.
American Sniper begins an Oscar-qualifying limited theatrical release in the U.S. on December 25th, 2014; it expands nation-wide on January 16th, 2015.