Bradley Cooper favored for best actor: Reuters/Ipsos Oscar poll
By Mary Milliken
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Bradley Cooper's turn as America's most lethal military sniper and Reese Witherspoon's portrayal of a woman on a journey of self-discovery should win this year's top acting Oscars, in the view of Americans surveyed in the annual Reuters/Ipsos Oscars poll.
Twenty-eight percent of respondents said Cooper, a four-time Academy Award nominee, should win best actor for his depiction of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, in the Clint Eastwood-directed "American Sniper," based on the late Kyle's autobiography. That was more than the percentage of respondents who saw the movie.
Cooper, 40, is also a producer on the Iraq war film that has become a huge commercial success, while stirring up a heated national debate about the role of snipers, the accuracy of Kyle's accounts and Americans' views of the war.
The second most favored for best actor is Michael Keaton for his portrayal of a washed-up actor attempting a comeback in "Birdman." Twelve percent of respondents picked him in the online survey of Americans conducted Feb. 9-12.
Frontrunner Eddie Redmayne, the British actor who has picked up numerous awards this season for his role as physicist Stephen Hawking, was the first choice for 5 percent of respondents, 46 percent of whom said they were unsure who should win.
In the best actress category, 13 percent chose Oscar-winner Witherspoon for her lead role in "Wild," author Cheryl Strayed's best-selling memoir of overcoming heartbreak on a solo trek along the grueling Pacific Coast Trail.
In second place with 12 percent is Rosamund Pike for her turn as the young wife with a dark side in "Gone Girl," director David Fincher's film based on the best-selling thriller.
Nearly 60 percent, however, said they were unsure who should win best actress. Continued...