So, Michael Moore has a problem with American Sniper. No surprise there, consider the source. Apparently, Moore is uncomfortable with the prospect of rewarding a film about a Navy Seal sniper. However, as an Oscar winning film-maker (gag me) he ought to know that the Academy has never shied away from handing out Oscars to actors who portrayed men who were notable for killing others. In the field of military exploits there was Sergeant York (1941). Gary Cooper portrayed the Sergeant, who killed dozens of unsuspecting Germans by maneuvering behind them so he could shoot them when they weren’t looking. The Sergeant got the Medal of Honor, and Cooper got the Oscar for Best Actor. Then there was 1970. General Patton killed more Germans than Sergeant York because he used artillery instead of a Springfield rifle. Best Picture and Best Actor for George C. Scott. And the Academy certainly doesn’t limit itself to men who killed in the line of duty. Far from it. In 1965, Best Actor Lee Marvin portrayed a gunfighter who killed his own brother. In 1972, Best Actor Marlon Brando was “the Godfather,” who killed countless men for personal power and profit. That film was also the Best Picture, as was the sequel in 1974, when the second generation Godfather killed countless more men, including his own brother. Not content to reward only Italian-American killers, the Best Picture of 2006, The Departed, was about Irish-American criminals who killed for money. But why limit the rewards to American killers? That same year, the Best Actor Oscar went to Forest Whitaker, who portrayed Idi Amin. He wasn’t a sniper though, only a genocidal maniac who massacred thousands of his own people. But, let’s not forget maybe the best yet, the 1991 Best Actor Oscar went to Anthony Hopkins for portraying Hannibal Lecter, a deranged serial killer and sometimes cannibal. At least he wasn’t a sniper.