Twenty-eight percent of respondents to the survey thought Cooper should get the top prize for his turn as Chris Kyle, reportedly the deadliest military sniper in US military history, in Clint Eastwood’s controversial blockbuster war drama American Sniper.
Birdman’s Michael Keaton came in second with 12% of votes for his portrayal of a one-time star of superhero movies vying for one last turn in the spotlight on Broadway. The bookmakers’ Oscars frontrunner, Britain’s Eddie Redmayne of the Stephen Hawking biopic The Theory of Everything, got just five per cent of votes.
Thirteen per cent of respondents expected Witherspoon to take home the best actress prize for her turn in Wild as woman who decides to walk the 1,000-mile Pacific Coast Trail in a journey of self-discovery. Rosamund Pike was the second most popular choice for her portrayal of a missing suburban wife in the David Fincher thriller Gone Girl, with 12%.
The US public appear to be out of step with the pundits here: Still Alice’s Julianne Moore is the huge current favourite to take the gong for her turn as an early-onset Alzheimer’s sufferer.
Most respondents to the annual Reuters/Ipsos poll were unsure who should win the top acting prizes. Forty six per cent did not know who should take best actor and nearly 60% were unsure as to who should win best actress at the Oscars ceremony on 22 February.
The poll’s 948 respondents were also divided over which movie should win best picture, with American Sniper emerging as the most popular film with 26% of the vote. Eastwood’s drama was the Oscar-nominated movie most seen by the American public, at 22% – hardly surprising given the film is on course to be the highest-grossing release of 2014 in the US and Canada. Gone Girl was the second most-viewed film, with 18% signalling they had seen it.
This article was written by Ben Child, for theguardian.com on Friday 13th February 2015 09.51 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010