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"Lincoln" Leads Illinois Into Oscars Territory

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"Lincoln" Leads Illinois Into Oscars Territory

20th Century Fox

Daniel Day Lewis in "Lincoln."

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Illinois stole the show Thursday during nominations for the 2013 Academy Awards. Or rather one of its native-born presidents did.

"Lincoln" led Oscars contender with 12 nominations, including best picture, director and acting honors for Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field and Tommy Lee Jones. The film, starring Day-Lewis as Abraham Lincoln, chronicles the 16th president's final months as he engineered passage of the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery.

It's more than a nomination for silver-screen royalty, though; it's a nod to our Land of Lincoln.

To prep for the role, Day-Lewis said he secretly spent time in Illinois, touring Lincoln sites in Springfield and standing in the Old State Capitol's chamber.

Dave Blanchette with the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum told the AP last year that Day-Lewis wore sunglasses and a fedora and was intent on being incognito.

Blanchette said the actor was studious and reverential, even asking to touch letters Lincoln wrote to his generals.

To say Lincoln is an important part of Illinois history -- and American history -- is an understatement. His effect is felt all the way to the top, even today.

Following President Barack Obama's visit to New York to survey the progress made after Superstorm Sandy, he hosted cast and crew members of the Steven Spielberg-directed film at the White House.

Obama, who has expressed his fondness for Lincoln and said he often looks to the Great Emancipator for guidance, was said to have been "incredibly moved" during the private screening of the movie.

So, apparently, was the Academy.

Here is a list of nominees in big categories:

Best Picture
"Beasts of the Southern Wild"
"Silver Linings Playbook"
"Zero Dark Thirty"
"Lincoln"
"Les Miserables"
"Life of Pi"
"Amour"
"Django Unchained"
"Argo"

Best Actor

Bradley Cooper, "Silver Linings Playbook"

Daniel Day-Lewis, "Lincoln"

Hugh Jackman, "Les Misérables"

Joaquin Phoenix, "The Master"

Denzel Washington, "Flight"

Best Actress

Jessica Chastain, "Zero Dark Thirty"

Jennifer Lawrence, "Silver Linings Playbook"

Emmanuelle Riva, "Amour"

Quvenzhané Wallis, "Beasts of the Southern Wild"

Naomi Watts, "The Impossible"

Best Direction

"Amour," Michael Haneke

"Beasts of the Southern Wild," Benh Zeitlin

"Life of Pi," Ang Lee

"Lincoln," Steven Spielberg

"Silver Linings Playbook," David O. Russell

Best Supporting Actress

Amy Adams, "The Master"

Sally Field, "Lincoln"

Anne Hathaway, "Les Miserables"

Helen Hunt, "The Sessions"

Jacki Weaver, "Silver Linings Playbook"

Best Supporting Actor

Alan Arkin, "Argo"

Robert De Niro, "Silver Linings Playbook"

Philip Seymour Hoffman, "The Master"

Tommy Lee Jones, "Lincoln"

Christoph Waltz, "Django Unchained"

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