This morning’s Producers Guild Nominees Awards breakfast at the Saban Theatre was more about congratulations than controversy.
But panelist Clint Eastwood said his film American Sniper and other war films — including his other favorite, Letters from Iwo Jima — make “the strongest anti-war statement” in their depiction of families back at home and the fallout of soldiers’ PTSD. These films show “what it (war) does to the people left behind.”
The producer-director said that after WWII the troops were expected to “just go home and get over it” but now there is help for the returning vets. “We’re straightening all that out now,” he said. He did not address the controversy over American Sniper and the questionable heroism of its lead character, real life sniper Chris Kyle (played by Bradley Cooper). Bill Maher recently called Kyle a “psychopath.”
Eastwood appeared on the panel, moderated by PGA president Gary Lucchesi, with 9 other PGA nominees: Alejandro G. Iñárritu (Birdman), Richard Linklater (Boyhood), Jeremy Dawson (The Grand Budapest Hotel), Jon Kilik (Foxcatcher), Ceán Chaffin (Gone Girl), Teddy Schwarzman (The Imitation Game), Jennifer Fox (Nightcrawler), Lisa Bruce (The Theory of Everything) and Helen Estabrook (Whiplash).
One other current awards season controversy was turned into a good-natured joke at the expense of Eastwood: Because of the swirling controversy over diversity in this year’s awards, PGA Executive Director Vance Van Petten said the 10 nominees included 4 women, one international from Mexico and “one from the AARP.”