You know you’ve made it to the top when Steven Spielberg kneels before you. In the above picture, 2013 Best Actor Oscar winner Daniel Day-Lewis is seen chatting away with his Lincoln director, Steven Spielberg. Lincoln was the evening’s most nominated film, but it ended up winning only two Academy Awards: Day-Lewis’ Best Actor and Best Production Design. Below is Day-Lewis’ Oscar acceptance speech. (Photo: Daniel Day-Lewis and Steven Spielberg; John Travolta and Kathryn Bigelow can be seen in the background.)
Daniel Day-Lewis: "I really don’t know how any of this happened. I do know that I’ve received so much more than my fair share of good fortune in my life and I’m so grateful to the Academy for this beautiful honor. It’s a strange thing because three years ago before we decided to do a straight swap, I had actually been committed to play Margaret Thatcher. [Laughs] And Meryl was Steven’s first choice for Lincoln. And I’d like to see that version. [Presenter Meryl Streep won the Best Actress Oscar last year for her performance as Thatcher in Phyllida Lloyd’s The Iron Lady.]
"And Steven didn’t have to persuade me to play Lincoln but I had to persuade him that perhaps if I was going to do it that Lincoln shouldn’t be a musical. My fellow nominees, my equals, my betters, I’m so proud to have been included as one amongst you.
"When we got married 16 years ago, or since we got married 16 years ago, my wife Rebecca has lived with some very strange men. I mean they were strange as individuals and probably even stranger if taken as a group. But luckily she’s the versatile one in the family and she’s been the perfect companion to all of them.
"I’d like to thank Kathy Kennedy, our producer, and through you, Kathy, and through you our mighty team of co-conspirators. At the apex of that human pyramid there are three men to whom I owe this and a great deal more: Tony Kushner, our beloved skipper Steven Spielberg and the mysteriously beautiful mind, body and spirit of Abraham Lincoln. For my mother, thank you so much."
Directed by Steven Spielberg, besides Daniel Day-Lewis the Lincoln cast includes Sally Field, Tommy Lee Jones, Hal Holbrook, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, John Hawkes, David Strathairn, Lee Pace, James Spader, Tim Blake Nelson, Jared Harris, Bruce McGill, Jackie Earle Haley, Joseph Cross, and Michael Stuhlbarg. Tony Kushner was credited for the screenplay based on a couple of chapters from Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book.
Lincoln producer Kathleen Kennedy: 8 Oscar nominations, no wins
Lincoln producer Kathleen Kennedy, by the way, has been nominated for eight Academy Awards in the last three decades, but has never won. For the record, Kennedy’s nominations (as one of the producers of a Best Picture nominee) were for Spielberg’s E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982), with Henry Thomas and Drew Barrymore; The Color Purple (1985), with Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey; Munich (2005), with Eric Bana and Geoffrey Rush; and War Horse (2011), Jeremy Irvine and Emily Watson; in addition to M. Night Shyamalan’s The Sixth Sense (1999), staring Bruce Willis and Joel Haley Osment; Gary Ross’ Seabiscuit (2003), with Tobey Maguire; and David Fincher’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008), with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett.
Adele Adkins, Paul Epworth, Richard Gere photo: Matt Petit / ©A.M.P.A.S. Daniel Day-Lewis / Steven Spielberg, Daniel Radcliffe / Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Paul N.J. Ottosson photos: Richard Harbaugh / © Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.