Day-Lewis makes history with Oscar win

Daniel Day-Lewis accepts the Oscar for best actor for his role in Lincoln  at the 85th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California, last night. Day Lewis is the first actor to win three best actor Oscars. Photograph: Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

Daniel Day-Lewis accepts the Oscar for best actor for his role in Lincoln at the 85th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California, last night. Day Lewis is the first actor to win three best actor Oscars. Photograph: Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

Mon, Feb 25, 2013, 00:00

Ben Affleck completed a spectacular comeback when his film Argo won best picture at the Academy Awards in Los Angeles last night.

The film had seemed out for the count when, in January, Affleck failed to secure a nomination for best director. At that stage, the front runner looked like Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, when that film topped the nominations with 12 mentions.

In the event, Lincoln converted only two of those nominations into wins. Daniel Day Lewis, who plays Abraham Lincoln in Spielberg’s film, did, however, make Oscar history when he became the first man to win three best actor awards.

The Wicklow resident’s speech was the most amusing in a show which saw most of the recipients playing it safe by thanking everyone including the gardener. Still brandishing traces of presenter Meryl Streep’s lipstick on his cheek, Day-Lewis joked that he had been the original choice for Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady and that Spielberg had wanted Streep for Lincoln.

Ang Lee’s Life of Pi ended up with the most Oscars. The beautifully shot 3-D treatment of Yann Martel’s allegorical novel won four awards, including the best director prize. Argo took home three, as did Tom Hooper’s adaptation of the musical Les Misérables.

Lee now has the dubious honour of winning two directing Oscars for films that failed to win best picture. His admired Brokeback Mountain also failed to take the top prize.

Jennifer Lawrence fought off a late charge by Emmanuelle Riva, star of Michael Haneke’s Amour, to take the gong for best actress. The young star drew sympathetic laughs when she tripped over her voluminous dress on the way up to the stage.

Affleck’s comeback was double-fold. As well as recovering from that best director snub, he bounced back from a career slump that followed his best original screenplay win for Good Will Hunting 15 years ago. “You can’t hold grudges,” he told the applauding masses. “It doesn’t matter if you get knocked down. All that matters is that you get up.”

Most Discussed