Over at Gold Derby, Tom O’Neil has seen Lincoln and says the Oscar for Best Actor is over:

Move over, Meryl Streep, Jack Nicholson, Walter Brennan and Ingrid Bergman. Daniel Day-Lewis is about to join you in the pantheon of Oscar’s second-biggest winners. After previous Academy Award victories for “My Left Foot” (1989) and “There Will Be Blood” (2007), Day-Lewis is now a shoo-in to win for “Lincoln.” He’ll soon be just one statuette shy of four-time champ Katharine Hepburn.

His “Lincoln” rules the screen with authority. It seems like a cinch to be nominated for Best Picture, Supporting Actress (Sally Field) and Adapted Screenplay (Tony Kushner), in addition to Best Actor. There’s also an excellent chance that Tommy Lee Jones is nominated as firebrand abolitionist Congressman Thaddeus Stevens and that Spielberg’s usual team of craftsman will probably score nods too: composer John Williams, film editor Michael Kahn and cinematographer Janusz Kaminski. It also may reap bids for art direction and costumes.

As of now, Day-Lewis’ biggest competition is Joaquin Phoenix’s career-best turn in The Master. Given that Day-Lewis has already won two Oscars and Phoenix none I’m giving the edge to Phoenix. But I haven’t yet seen Lincoln so I can’t say for sure. The other name that is bound to cause a stir is Hugh Jackman in Les Miserables. Although he’ll be singing the whole time it already looks like astonishing work.

And then there’s Anthony Hopkins in Hitchcock (one Oscar), and Denzel Washington in Flight. Washington has also won two Oscars but only one lead Oscar. He’s such a great actor and there has long been the complaint that when he played good characters he was snubbed but when he played a drug dealer, against type, that’s when he won the Oscar. The against-type thing is a killer every time.

And then there’s Jamie Foxx for Django Unchained. And John Hawkes for The Sessions. Richard Gere for Arbitrage. You can see Best Actor is filling up fast.  But if Day-Lewis or Tommy Lee Jones wins they will make history as the first actors every to win starring in a Spielberg movie.

An aside: Lincoln is the movie with the actors with three names: Daniel Day-Lewis, Tommy Lee Jones, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Jackie Earle Haley.