Who do the Oscar hopefuls from this year's prestige biopics need to measure up to?
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3. Daniel Day-Lewis as Christy Brown in "My Left Foot" (1989)
Oscars for actors playing the disabled have become a prime sticking-point in industry-oriented satire – so much so that “going full retard” has entered popular parlance. So it’s a testament to the human empathy and credibility of Day-Lewis’s startling portrayal of cerebral palsy-afflicted artist Brown that he never comes in for the jabs levelled at, say, Dustin Hoffman: this is rigorous technical acting that never feels mannered. 22 years on, it’s hard to believe how close the race against Tom Cruise (also wheelchair-bound in the Ron Kovic bio “Born on the Fourth of July”) was.