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Americans favour Lincoln for top Oscar prize

Steven Spielberg is also their top choice for best director

Image Credit: AP
This image released by DreamWorks II Distribution Co., LLC and Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation shows Sally Field and Daniel Day-Lewis appear in a scene from "Lincoln." Fields was nominated for an Academy Award for best supporting actress and Lewis was nominated for best actor on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, for their roles in “Lincoln.“ The 85th Academy Awards will air live on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013 on ABC. (AP Photo/DreamWorks II Distribution Co., LLC and Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, David James)

New York: Director Ben Affleck and Argo may have been the big winners at the Golden Globes, but many Americans think Steven Spielberg and ‘Lincoln’ should take home the top Oscars at next month’s awards.

Nearly a quarter of Americans questioned in an Ipsos poll for Reuters thought the Civil War drama Lincoln should win the Oscar for best picture at the 85th Academy Awards in Los Angeles on February 24. Spielberg was also their top choice for best director, with 36 per cent choosing him.

Only 4 per cent of Americans thought ‘Argo’, which depicts the rescue of American diplomats in Iran in the 1970s, should win the Academy Award for best picture. readers don’t quite agree. 63 per cent of people who responded to a January 15 poll on the website (a total of 1,790 responded) thought Life of Pi should win the best picture award. In second place, with 14 per cent, was Lincoln -- although the film has not yet released in the UAE. It comes out January 31.

The poll results have little if any implication for who will ultimately win the Oscars, which are voted on by movie industry professionals.

The Golden Globes are sometimes looked to for hints on the eventual Oscar winners, the biggest prizes in the film industry, as many Globe winners have gone on to Oscars success. But Affleck is not even in the running for best director after he was snubbed by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences which announced its nominations last week.

Daniel Day-Lewis is favourite

Americans chose Daniel Day-Lewis as their clear favourite to follow up his Golden Globe win for his portrayal of Abraham Lincoln with a best actor Oscar.

Twenty-two per cent chose him over Denzel Washington in ‘Flight’, who polled 16 per cent while Hugh Jackman, who won a Golden Globe for his role in the musical ‘Les Miserables’ was third.

But the choice for best actress was less clear cut. Twelve percent of the 1,158 Americans polled voted for Naomi Watts as the distraught mother in the tsunami drama ‘The Impossible’, followed by 10 per cent for Jennifer Lawrence in ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ and 9 per cent for Jessica Chastain in the search for Osama Bin Laden thriller ‘Zero Dark Thirty’.

Lawrence won the Golden Globe on Sunday for best actress in a comedy or musical, while Chastain took home the prize for best actress in a drama.

‘Lincoln’ was also the top choice in the poll for the supporting categories, with Tommy Lee Jones and Sally Field favourites for their performances in the film.

Approval for MacFarlane

Comedians Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, who won praise for their first stint hosting the Golden Globes, will be a hard act to follow but 42 per cent of Americans approved of the choice of outspoken comedian and creator of ‘Family Guy’ Seth MacFarlane to helm the Academy Awards.

If given the opportunity to select the host for the Oscars, 15 per cent of the people said they would opt for comedian Billy Crystal, followed by 12 per cent who chose Ellen DeGeneres while 10 per cent wanted Steve Martin.