Monday, 10 March 2008
When the award for Best Actor was announced at this years Oscars ceremony it was met with little shock or even any attempts to feign surprise from the audience. Daniel Day-Lewis had been touted as the favourite to win by critics and bookmakers since the nominations were announced, and so it proved to be true.
His portrayal of oil tycoon Daniel Plainview in Best Picture nominated film There Will Be Blood was the driving force behind a story about family, greed, religion and oil during the turn-of-the-century. It was this forceful and emotionally draining performance that made his win incredibly predictable, yet welcomed by all.
It isn’t his first win in the category, having collected the award for his performance in My Left Foot in 1990. Since then he has also been nominated for In the Name of the Father (1994) and Gangs of New York (2003).
He collected the award from last year’s Best Actress winner, Dame Helen Mirren, who memorably won the Oscar for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II. On entering the stage he knelt before her while she pretended to knight him with the statuette. “That’s the closest I’ll ever come to a knighthood,” he said.
On accepting the award the famously reclusive and shy star gave his “deepest thanks” to the Academy for “whacking me with the handsomest bludgeon in town”.