And the winner is...'American Sniper': Reuters/Ipsos Oscars poll

Fri Jan 23, 2015 2:46pm EST
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By Mary Milliken

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - If ordinary Americans voted for the Academy Awards, "American Sniper," Clint Eastwood's portrait of a sharpshooter in the Iraq war, would be the best picture winner, according to the annual Reuters/Ipsos Oscars poll.

The film starring Bradley Cooper as the late Navy SEAL Chris Kyle was cited by 22 percent of respondents as the movie that should win the top Oscar among the eight nominees, according to an online survey of Americans conducted Jan. 16-23.

The Martin Luther King Jr. biopic "Selma" was the second most popular choice with 8 percent.

"Boyhood," the coming-of-age story filmed over 12 years with the same actors and a favorite to win best picture, was third in the survey with 4 percent.

Nearly half, or 48 percent, said they were unsure which film should win best picture.

Both "American Sniper" and "Selma" have been the subject of controversy in recent weeks.

The Eastwood-directed film, currently No. 1 at the North American box office, has become a flashpoint of debate between liberals and conservatives over the morality of war and the role of snipers.

"Selma" drew criticism from some historians for what they said was a misleading portrayal of President Lyndon B. Johnson's role in the fight for voting rights for blacks.   Continued...

Actress Sienna Miller (L), director Clint Eastwood and actor Bradley Cooper ( R) arrive for the premiere of the film "American Sniper" in New York, December 15, 2014.  REUTERS/Carlo Allegri