Steven Spielberg aims for third Best Director Oscar win for Lincoln

By Jennifer Lipman, February 22, 2013
Daniel Day-Lewis in Lincoln

Daniel Day-Lewis in Lincoln

When Seth MacFarlane opens the 85th Academy Awards late on Sunday evening, a Jewish director will be in the running for another consecutive year to scoop the most coveted prize in cinema.

If Steven Spielberg picks up the trophy for Best Director for the film Lincoln, he will follow in the success of Michel Hazanavicius in 2012 – the French Jewish filmmaker won for The Artist – and go one better than the Coen Brothers and Darren Aronofsky, who were nominated in 2011.

Mr Spielberg has won four Oscars in the past, including being named Best Director for both Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan.

The Jewish star of Lincoln, which documents the US president's final months in office, is also in the running for the prize of Best Actor. If Daniel Day-Lewis wins, he will be the first person to win three Best Actor Oscars in history.

His win is viewed as almost certain by industry insiders, with Entertainment Weekly's senior editor Thom Geier stating that he would be "shocked - I think everyone would be shocked - if someone other than Daniel Day - Lewis ascended the podium Sunday night".

Elsewhere, battling it out for the award for Best Documentary feature are the films 5 Broken cameras and The Gatekeepers, both of which focus on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The former, co-directed by an Israeli and a Palestinian, documents tension in a West Bank village from the perspective of a Palestinian farmer, while the latter follows six former Shin Bet heads.

In total, Spielberg's Lincoln is up for 12 Oscars. Other Jewish contend e rs include Alan Arkin, up for Best Supporting Actor for Argo, and Benh Zeitlin, up for a directing award for Beasts of the Southern Wild.

British Jewish film producer Teddy Leifer could take home the prize for Best Documentary for his film The Invisible War, a look at sexual assault in the US military that has been praised by President Obama.

Last updated: 10:34am, February 22 2013