Every few years, Daniel Day-Lewis comes out of hiding, gives an unforgettable movie performance, then takes his Oscar and vanishes into the woods again. (We exaggerate, but not much.) To play the 16th President, the famously intense actor spent a full year doing research, then stayed in character for the entire duration of filming. His sublime performance anchors Lincoln, and not even Hugh Jackman (who starved himself and sang live for Les Miserables) or Joaquin Phoenix (who transformed his entire voice and body for The Master) can compete. Factor in how much the Academy loves historical characters, and like Parker Lewis (whom we like to imagine is his distant cousin), Daniel Day-Lewis can't lose.