Oscar-nominated movie took inspiration from Central Texas sherif - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

Oscar-nominated movie took inspiration from Central Texas sheriff

Source: KXXV Source: KXXV
Source: Parnell McNamara Source: Parnell McNamara
WACO, TX (KXXV) -

A movie with connections with Central Texas has been nominated to four Oscars, including one for Best Motion Picture.

Hell or High Water was also nominated for Original Screenplay, Achievement in Editing and Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role.

The movie tells the story about two brothers who rob banks in an attempt to save their late mother's ranch from foreclosure. A Texas Ranger and his partner are working the case. 

Taylor Sheridan, who wrote the movie Hell or High Water, grew up in Bosque County and is the cousin of McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara.

Jeff Bridges plays a Texas Ranger in the movie who is inspired by McNamara. The sheriff said he worked with Bridges to get him ready for this character, advising him on the hat, gun, holster and badge he should have.

"To get four nominations is just unbelievable. I'm so proud of my cousin, Taylor Sheridan. I'm proud of Jeff Bridges and the other two actors Chris Pine and Ben Foster. They did such as tremendous job portraying gritty, down-to-earth law enforcement in Texas," McNamara said. "It's a good portrayal of law enforcement as I have seen it all my life."

For McNamara, the film also has a special place in his heart because the Bridge's character reminded him of his late brother Mike.

"Mike was a lawman. Mike was a US Marshal for 34 years. I could see Mike in there," McNamara said.

Baylor Associate Professor of Film and Digital Media James Kendrick wrote a review about the movie.

"I thought it was a very powerful film. What I found more impressive about it is that [it] interweaves a conventional thriller story about bank robbers pursued by the police with a lot of social issues," Kendrick said.

He also said being nominated for four Oscars is a big deal because these type of awards are well-known.

"That has an immediate financial impact. A lot of movies that hadn't been doing that well, get a bump in the box office because when people find out they have been nominated for Oscars because Oscar nominations and Oscar wins in the general mindset equals quality."

Sheriff McNamara said it is possible he will get to attend the Oscars.

The Oscars hosted by Jimmy Skimmer this year will air on Feb. 28 on ABC.

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