With twelve nominations, Steven Spielberg’s latest film, Lincoln, leads the Oscar field and looks poised to give Spielberg yet another gold statue to add to his illustrious career. Lincoln stars Daniel Day-Lewis as President Abraham Lincoln and the film covers the point of Lincoln’s term where the Civil War is in full swing and he struggles with the people calling for an end to the war as well as pushing his cabinet and to agree with him on emancipating the slaves.
Led with a powerful cast that included Tommy Lee Jones, Sally Field, Joesph Gordon-Levitt, and James Spader Lincoln enters the Oscars as an early favorite to win Best Picture because of the amount of nominations it has as well as the crew behind it but in my opinion, many more factors go into why Spielberg’s latest will be taking home the prize as the year’s best film: here’s 10 of ‘em.
10. Well-Placed Nominations
As I mentioned before, Lincoln leads the field with most nominations. But what it is nominated in really effects the film’s ability to win Best Picture. Since 2006, every director who has won the Best Director award has gone on to win an Oscar for Best Picture as well. Spielberg has great command over the Oscar field this year because of the exclusion of Katheryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty) and Ben Affleck (Argo) who were possibly his greatest competition and have already been awarded Best Directing honors in other awards (Affleck won at the Golden Globes).
While the rest of the field still includes directors who did a great job in their respected films, such as Ang Lee in Life of Pi or David O. Russell in Silver Linings Playbook, it puts more pressure on those directors to nab the award with Spielberg’s film having so many other nominations in important categories.
Look at last year’s winner, The Artist. It was nominated the most and did not win in many other small awards other than Best Score but when the important categories appeared, it was all over the place, nabbing wins for director Michael Hazanavicius, actor Jean Dujardin, and eventually nabbed the Best Picture.
Like Dujardin, Daniel Day-Lewis is right now the head over heels favorite in the Best Actor category. His performance in Lincoln was powerful and mesmorizing and he was clearly the leader of the film, even if his character’s name wasn’t the title. While the Best Actor field is good, no one commanded a screen like Day-Lewis did in Lincoln and he is almost a virtual lock in that category.
But this is much like two years ago when Colin Firth took home Oscar gold for The King’s Speech. He commanded that category and no one was able to touch him and it gave the film a huge stepping stone to taking home Best Picture. Getting awards in key categories like that has been a key for the past few Oscars (see The Artist and The King’s Speech) and Lincoln is set up to take over those categories with Daniel-Day Lewis and Steven Spielberg leading the charge for it.