back to top

Is "American Sniper" The Most American Film Ever Nominated For Best Picture?

If it says "AMERICA" in the title then it's definitely about #AMERICA.

Posted on

American Sniper has created a heated debate amongst jingoistic Americans and anti-fake babies in movies factions (amongst other groups). Many people believe that a vote for American Sniper is a vote for #AMERICA.

Exactly how true is that? Is it even the most American film ever nominated for Best Picture? Time to investigate with a ranking of the most American Best Picture-nominated films*:

*If "America" isn't in the title? DISQUALIFIED.

6. America, America (1963)

Warner Bros.

Director: Elia Kazan

Writer: Elia Kazan

How American Is It?: Well, this one's hard. It's about Greek immigrants who reach the Statue of Liberty at the conclusion of the film. One would say that this movie is decidedly American since it's about the American dream. BUT we hate immigrants in America now because they're always trying to steal our jobs. Once upon a time, white people would be proud of their immigrant heritage, but now movies like this must be abolished from memory in order to protect the notion that white people sprung up from the American maize fields long before Native Americans knew what corn on the cob was.

Did It Win?: No. It lost out to Tom Jones, a period comedy, which is so fucking un-American that you'd think people would have revolted in the streets.

5. American Hustle (2013)

Atlas Entertainment / Annapurna Pictures

Director: David O. Russell

Writer: Eric Warren Singer & David O. Russell

How American Is It?: This is a bad movie, but luckily, that doesn't preclude a film from being championed as important to our country! So let's examine it as a whole. It's a sleek film about people who to hustle to survive in '70s America and yet everyone in it is white, so while inauthentic, that's as American as you can get.

Did It Win?: Nah, it lost to 12 Years a Slave. Because while America doesn't love to be guilted about its past, the Academy does.


4. American Graffiti (1973)

Lucasfilm / Coppola Company

Director: George Lucas

Writer: George Lucas, Gloria Katz, & Willard Huyck

How American Is It?: Pretty damn American. You don't get more American than the '50s. A time when teenagers were nice, women knew their place, and black people were elsewhere. This movie's nostalgia for old-timey America led to the creation of Happy Days, so how the fuck do you even top that?

Did It Win?: Well, it didn't win, for one. So that's a strike against it. Plus, The Exorcist — a much more American film about how women are crazy and need the men and church to help them — was also nominated that year. And they both lost out to The Sting.

3. American Sniper (2014)

Village Roadshow Pictures

Director: Clint Eastwood

Writer: Jason Hall

How American Is It?: Pretty. Fucking. American. Look at Bradley Cooper and his American biceps. And it was directed by Clint fucking Eastwood, who's the most American film director since Douglas Sirk. He taps into raw American emotions that will forever stand the test of time.

Did It Win?: WHO KNOWS?!?!?!?!? This will be updated after the Oscars with whether it succeeded against birds, home movies, black voters, bellboys, gay bloggers, band geeks, or that movie about a hot ginger.


2. American Beauty (1999)

DreamWorks Pictures

Director: Sam Mendes

Writer: Alan Ball

How American Is It?: How could a movie starring the Rock Hudson of our time not be dripping with American sex appeal? Also, this is the only movie on this list to give American men what they NEED: Mena Suvari taking a bath in rose petals. Mena Suvari exposing her rose petal-clad breasts. A plastic bag floating through the air.

Did It Win?: Hell yeah, it did. And it even beat out the arguably more American film about killing people on death row, The Green Mile. Which is surprising, due to all the gay garage shit in this movie.

1. An American in Paris (1951)


Director: Vincente Minnelli

Writer: Alan Jay Lerner

How American Is It?: Sure, you can make a movie about America, but why take the easy way out? It's much better to write a movie about an American who goes overseas and shows those uppity Europeans what a real country is. Through song and dance, obviously.

Did It Win?: Duh. Fuck off, Marlon Brando. There's nothing American about starring in a film written by known homosexual Tennessee Williams. Is Tennessee even a place in America?