Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Road to the Oscars #3: Best Actor

The Academy Award category for Best Actor in a Leading Role is competitive as always this year due to the four five shining nominees that were chosen by the Academy: Bradley Cooper for Silver Linings Playbook, Daniel Day-Lewis for Lincoln, Hugh Jackman for Les Misérables, Joaquin Phoenix for The Master, and Denzel Washington for Flight. All of these men are extremely talented and are worthy of receiving this award.

Although I have already written about Lincoln, this post is meant to describe who I believe will win the Academy Award in the category, and it would be wrong of me to disregard my hunch that Daniel Day-Lewis will receive the award just because I had already written about Tommy Lee Jones. Day-Lewis's enrapturing performance as the charismatic, strong-willed, kind, and incredible man Abraham Lincoln, who many consider the best President of the United States in history, simply cannot be ignored. Day-Lewis flawlessly displayed all the qualities of one of the most respected men in history, from his clear sense of grief due to his deceased son to his laugh as he told a joke about a picture of George Washington in a British man's bathroom to a room full of young men. Day-Lewis's performance was absolutely the reason the movie will forever be remembered for Americans everywhere.

My favorite aspect of Day-Lewis's performance was the way he spoke as Abraham Lincoln. Many of his previous movies had him using deeper voices (for example, There Will Be Blood), and this shift in voice for the beloved president is not only befitting for the character, but actually believed to be historically accurate. Lincoln was supposedly a soft-spoken man, and Day-Lewis captures this in his portrayal effortlessly, making the man only seen by the world in pictures truly come to life. The little things in Day-Lewis's acting, such as this, make him worthy of this Academy Award.

The one performance in this category I did not really enjoy was Hugh Jackman's in Les Miz. I found myself instantly bored by his performance, not nearly as connected as I felt to Day-Lewis or Washington or Cooper. My favorite scenes were the ones he was not in, though I must say he was easier to watch than Russell Crowe. I pray that Jackman does not receive this award.

Basically, I feel that Daniel Day-Lewis deserves to be recognized for his work as Abraham Lincoln in Lincoln, Spielberg's historical fiction masterpiece about the most beloved president in American history. Without Day-Lewis portraying the man, the film would have fallen flat, especially due to its length. This incredible performance paralleled with Les Miz and Hugh Jackman's dull portrayal of Jean Valjean truly illustrates Day-Lewis's acting genius. I hope that Day-Lewis wins this award for his outstanding performance in Lincoln!


  1. Agreed, I feel like he deserves this recognition.

  2. From all of the negative input I've gotten about Les Miserables, I'm starting to believe that its just a crap movie. I don't know if I want to watch it at all...

  3. I also believe that Daniel Day-Lewis will win the award because he has been winning almost every award he has been nominated for and that is always a good sign. I liked how you pointed out Day-Lewis' choice of speaking with a softer tone because I do not believe many would have noticed it since it's something quite simple. However, it seemed to have a great impact because just like you said, it brought the character, Lincoln, to life. Overall, it seemed that Daniel Day-Lewis did a sensational job.