Good Morning Oscar, December 9: Polls & Precursors

Kids like the new Oscar hosts, and critics may like “The Social Network”

In this morning's roundup of Oscar news 'n' notes from around the web, kids like the new Oscar hosts, and critics may like "The Social Network."

Ellen DegeneresWhat do viewers think about the Oscar show? The Hollywood Reporter commissioned a poll of 700 viewers, with results that indicate that nearly two-thirds of younger viewers like the choice of James Franco and Anne Hathaway; that Ellen Degeneres (left) is, surprisingly, the favorite recent host of those under 35, Billy Crystal the favorite for those over 35; and that seven out of 10 viewers remembered that Sandra Bullock won the Best Actress award last year, while only four of 10 remembered that "The Hurt Locker" won Best Picture. But you can't get those facts and figures by clicking on the link; most of the goodies are restricted to subscribers. (The Hollywood Reporter)

"The Social Network" has more critics' awards in its future, according to the batch of pundits who were asked by Gold Derby to predict the winners of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association (which will announce its honorees on Sunday) and the New York Film Critics Circle (Monday). Seven of the 13 Oscar-watchers pick David Fincher's Facebook film to win the LAFCA award, with four opting for "Toy Story 3" instead (no doubt because the L.A. critics honored "Wall-E" two years ago). And 10 of the 13 think New York's critics will go for "Social Network" as well. Other leaders: Fincher for Best Director (LA and NY), Colin Firth for Best Actor (LA and NY), Natalie Portman for Best Actress (NY), Christian Bale for Best Supporting Actor (LA and NY), and Jacki Weaver (LA) and Melissa Leo (NY) for Best Supporting Actress. I'm thinking the groups will give us some surprises in the acting categories – but having opted not to add my predictions to this particular roundup, I probably shouldn’t be a backseat driver. (Gold Derby)   

Peter Knegt presents an exhaustive guide to the upcoming week of precursor awards, from the Los Angeles and New York critics to the nominations for the Critics Choice Movie Awards, the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild Awards. Bottom line: SAG and Critics Choice are the best of the bunch as Oscar indicators, while the Globes are the biggest event but the least meaningful precursor. (indieWIRE)

Scott Feinberg thinks there's a new kid in town in the Best Picture race, and finds historical precedent for the scenario that others, including Jeff Wells, have been advancing for a couple of weeks now: that "The Fighter" could actually slip in and win the top honor. His evidence: in 1976, “Rocky" ("populist boxing movie/moving love story") beat "Network" ("brilliantly-written social commentary") and "All the President's Men" ("stirring recreation of political historical events")," so in 2010 "The Fighter" ("populist boxing movie," etc.) can beat "The Social Network" ("brilliantly-written" etc.) and "The King's Speech" ("stirring recreation," etc.). It's more of a crack research job into potential Oscar coincidences than an actual theory, and Feinberg admits as much. (