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10. Daniel Day-Lewis, "My Left Foot"
Category: Best Actor
Strongest Competition: Tom Cruise, "Born on the Fourth of July" and Kenneth Branagh, "Henry V"
Why: Day-Lewis is one of the greatest actors of his generation and clearly earned both of his Oscars for "There Will Be Blood" and "Lincoln." That being said, his first win for "My Left Foot" may be his most remarkable. As Christy Brown, he played a man with severe cerebral palsy where, and as the title of the film insinuates, he could only use his left foot. What Day-Lewis is able to do to his body to play the part is an amazing accomplishment in and of itself. How he could communicate Brown's passion, fears and dreams is another. It's such a remarkable transformation that when you consider his peers, it's hard to come up with even a handful of other actors who could have come close to pulling this off. Now that's how legends are born.
- Gregory Ellwood