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Poll: Will Mark Wahlberg pull off another Oscar surprise?

January 22, 2011 |  8:00 am

Fighter-mark-wahlberg

Oscar pundits have a habit of underestimating Mark Wahlberg. Just four years ago, nobody took him seriously as a derby contender when "The Departed" jockeyed for best picture. All eyes were on his costars Leonardo DiCaprio and Jack Nicholson, but both got skunked. Wahlberg was the only star of Oscar's best picture champ to get an acting nomination. He lost that race, but was nonetheless voted best supporting actor of 2006 by the National Society of Film Critics.

Now it looksas if Oscar gurus are dismissing him again. Only one of the 10 pundits at The Envelope's Buzzmeter and five of the 23 pundits polled by Gold Derby believe Wahlberg will be nominated for lead actor Tuesday when Academy Award nominations are unveiled. What do you think? He was nominated at the Golden Globes, where he lost to Colin Firth ("The King's Speech"). He took home a nice consolation prize, however. He's a producer of "Boardwalk Empire," which won for Best TV drama series. He was overlooked by the Screen Actors Guild in the lead actor bout for "The Fighter," but he's nominated along with his costars for SAG's ensemble award, which they COULD win.

— Tom O'Neil

Photo: "The Wrestler" (Paramount)

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