Daniel Day-Lewis can make Oscar history with his third Best Actor award Sunday—a feat only Lewis could seem to achieve so masterfully.
"No-one has emerged to take him on. I don't think he has lost a single (pre-Oscar) race. We have 25 experts and every single one is betting on Daniel Day-Lewis," said Tom O'Neil of awards website Goldderby.com.
Day-Lewis' portrayal of President Abraham Lincoln has bridged a gap for generations now far removed from Lincoln's lifetime with meticulous preparation to match the intensity to detail from director Steven Spielberg that resulted in a historically-accurate masterpiece that has enveloped audiences in the story. Playing a Lincoln in the last few months of a life cut short of years but ripe in importance, the 55-year-old took different approaches to playing the President than previous imitators, including adopting a higher-pitched voice tone. Though Day-Lewis has an instantly recognizable face for many, his portrayal of Lincoln was so well executed that you could truly believe you were watching the former American hero himself.
"It's a performance that is subtle. It's not the Lincoln you expect. It's a different interpretation of Lincoln than we have seen and we feel, wow! This could be the way Lincoln was," said Pete Hammond, awards columnist at Deadline.com.
Though Lewis' embodiment of Lincoln seemed like the only truly dutiful option to the President's image, the actor took a bit of convincing from Spielberg to take on such a monstruous task. However, at the end of the day, he felt he owed it to the former president to take on the task.
"It was an actor that murdered Abraham Lincoln," Lewis said. "Therefore, somehow it's only fitting that every now and then, an actor tries to bring him back to life again."
Though all the eyeballs will be glued to Day-Lewis when the card is being read for Best Actor, he isn't going to be assured until the statuette lands safely in his palm.
"Members of the Academy love surprises, so about the worst thing that can happen to you is if you've built up an expectation. I think they'd probably be delighted if it was anybody else," he told reporters after winning the Screen Actors Guild trophy in January.