I sometimes recoil when people start spreading Oscar buzz about a movie I haven’t seen. Yet I’m willing to forgive this year’s campaign for “Lincoln” because it’s such a terrific movie. At first glance, it sounds like another history lesson about the last four months in the life of America’s 16th president, Abraham Lincoln. Instead, “Lincoln” is a crowning achievement powered by a dream cast that digs vibrant human drama out of the dry dust of history. Credits go to Daniel Day Lewis, who embodies all the qualities that make the character of Lincoln so admirable and empathetic. Most of all, he is endearingly human. Winner of two Oscars in the past for “My Left Foot” and “There Will be Blood”, Day Lewis gives another towering performance that deserves a shower of awards. I could swear that at times I forgot all about him as an actor and found myself believing that I was actually watching the real Abraham Lincoln. But that’s not all. Director Steven Spielberg has assembled a great ensemble cast that includes Sally Field as Lincoln’s wife, David Strathairn, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jackie Earle Haley, John Hawkes and Tommy Lee Jones who gives one of the best performances of his career. Spielberg sets just the right tone for this lively tale. He knows how to showcase his actors at their very best, and his collaborators have brought the period of the 1800’s to life with skill and an admirable eye for detail. And even as it reaches its “all too familiar” finale , “Lincoln” still manages to be relevant, entertaining and emotionally affecting. It’s about as far from cliché movie making as one can get; it’s also one of the most satisfying and memorable pictures of 2012.