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Poll: Spielberg favorite for Best Director Oscar nod

American filmmaker Steven Spielberg is the clear favorite among the public to win the Best Director award for his film about U.S. President Abraham Lincoln at the Academy Awards this year, a Reuters poll showed on Wednesday (January 30). Spielberg, 66, who has been nominated seven times for Best Director at the Oscars and won twice -- was seen as far ahead in the field for Best Director. Anecdotally, a less than scientific poll, which involved asking fans strolling Hollywood Blvd., found support in favor of the "Lincoln" filmmaker. SOUNDBITE: DeMarro Holness, Los Angeles resident, saying (English): "Steven Spielberg, classic, I have to go with Steven Spielberg." The exclusion of Kathryn Bigelow for her film "Zero Dark Thirty" and actor/director Ben Affleck's Iran hostage thriller "Argo," from the Oscar nominated list, didn't seem to impact those showing support for Spielberg. SOUNDBITE: Tammi Bachelor, of Greenville, North Caroline saying (English): "I thought 'Lincoln' was just spot on. I thought it was just perfect. I liked 'Zero Dark Thirty,' don't get me wrong. But, I thought 'Lincoln' was powerful and gripping." Ang Lee, with his 3-D film adaptation of the best-selling novel "Life of Pi" and director David O. Russell's quickly comedy "Silver Linings Playbook" could though find support and walk away with the statute. After all, this is the Academy Awards, where Oscar surprises are all part of the big night, which take place this year on February 24.

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