By MIKE FLEMING
As Deadline revealed exclusively last week, the Steven Spielberg-directed Lincoln made a surprise world premiere at the New York Film Festival on Monday evening. It has been one of the wildcards in the Oscar conversation. I saw it tonight. I thought Daniel Day-Lewis was a deserving Oscar winner for My Left Foot and There Will Be Blood, and that he probably should have won for In The Name Of The Father. But this really is his best performance. He becomes Lincoln, beyond an uncanny physical resemblance. He has fully fleshed out the 16th U.S. President into a living, breathing man. He captures his intelligence, his grasp of the high stakes of prolonging the Civil War until he can get the votes to abolish slavery for good, and moments of charm and sly wit that brightened the darkness around him as the country was in the fourth year of a war that had to end.