There was little doubt that Oscar® glory would be showered upon Daniel Day Lewis. Winning an historic third Best Actor Oscar for his mesmerising portrayal of Abraham Lincoln, he now stands alone in the history of the Academy Awards and is Britain’s finest acting export (yes, with dual UK and Irish citizenship he’s one of ours).
Characteristically humble, he thanked amongst others his fellow nominees, calling them “my equals, my betters”, his wife Rebecca, Lincoln writer Tony Kushner, director Steven Spielberg and “the mysteriously beautiful mind, body and spirit Abraham Lincoln”.
He also demonstrated the good humour for which he is rapidly becoming known, ribbing Iron Lady Best Actress winner Meryl Streep by announcing he was originally intended for that role while she was tipped for Lincoln.
In the past, with his two Best Actor Oscars for My Left Foot and There Will Be Blood he joined eight other actors including Tom Hanks, Dustin Hoffman, Jack Nicholson, Sean Penn and Marlon Brando. But, he has now set the bar much higher and with this golden statue he has almost twenty Best Acting awards to his name for Lincoln, including the Screen Actors Guild Award, the Golden Globe and the BAFTA.
His portrayal of the almost mythical American President once again demonstrated Day Lewis’ versatility, moving away from the memorable psycho roles of Gangs of New York and There Will Be Blood to a performance of warmth, idealism and righteous fury, echoing such great past turns as The Last of the Mohicans and In the Name of the Father.
And we’ll set Bill The Butcher on anyone who disagrees.
The other big Brit win of the evening was Adele’s Best Song victory for Skyfall, a long overdue win for a franchise that established the opening theme song as an art form.
Earlier in the evening Adele rocked the Dolby Theatre with a rendition of the Oscar winning tune, the first time she had performed it live and she didn’t disappoint. Although her acceptance speech also brought down the house as she told the entire audience of Hollywood’s great and good they were all wonderful and thanking "my man - I love you, babe!."
Other Brit triumphs went to behind the scenes works. Jacqueline Durran picked up Best Costume Design for Anna Karenina and Lisa Westcott and Julie Dartnell won Best Makeup and Hairstyling for Les Miserables, two films that proved period movies could have the imagination and dynamism of any alien invasion blockbuster.
Elsewhere, Brit cinema was celebrated in a stunning montage of Bond’s best moments, while the Valleys were well represented with a Welsh brace in the form of Shirley Bassey banging out Goldfinger and Catherine Zeta Jones performing All That Jazz, plus Cell Block Tango from Chicago… and setting Twitter alight with cries of post-Beyonce lip-synching that is still to be confirmed..
Les Miserables also celebrated the cream of British talent as Sacha Baron Cohen, Helena Bonham Carter and Eddie Redmayne took the stage for a stirring medley of songs from that smash hit movie, which also won another Brit award for Andy Nelson, Mark Paterson and Simon Hayes for Best Sound Mixing.
So, what appeared to be a Brit-light night at the Oscars saw the UK coming away with a good grab of those precious statuettes.
And which acting talent will join Daniel Day Lewis in the pantheon of three Best Actor wins? Only Oscar knows the answer.