Jennifer Lawrence seen winning Best Actress Oscar

Wed Feb 13, 2013 7:09am EST
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(Reuters) - Two rising Hollywood actresses are seen as front-runners for this year's Best Actress Oscar, with Jennifer Lawrence expected to steal the show from Jessica Chastain on awards night, a Reuters poll showed on Wednesday.

In true Hollywood style, there is even some off-screen drama between the actresses before the February 24 Academy Awards with Chastain from "Zero Dark Thirty" using Facebook to deny unsubstantiated rumors of fierce rivalry with Lawrence from "Silver Linings Playbook."

"I find it very sad that the media makes up bogus stories about women fighting in this industry," wrote Chastain over the weekend.

The two actresses are in a field of five vying for the top female title at the world's most prestigious movie awards.

The group also includes the youngest and oldest nominees in the award's 85-year history, with 9-year-old Quvenzhane Wallis nominated for "Beasts of the Southern Wild" and Emmanuelle Riva, 85, up for foreign language drama "Amour."

The fifth actress in the running is Naomi Watts as the mother in the tsunami movie "The Impossible."

Riva has won two best actress awards this year - from the BAFTA and the National Society of Film Critics - for playing a retired music teacher struggling to cope with the aftermath of a stroke in Austrian director Michael Haneke's film.

But a Reuters Ipsos poll of 1,586 Americans found 15 percent thought Lawrence, 22, should win the Oscar and 15 percent said she was most likely to win the prize.

Only 11 percent thought Chastain, 35, should win and 10 percent said she was most likely to win. Riva was only seen as most likely to win by 4 percent of voters.   Continued...

Actress Jennifer Lawrence poses as she arrives for the British Academy of Film and Arts (BAFTA) awards ceremony at the Royal Opera House in London February 10, 2013. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett