Originally Posted by rustysyringe
Well, I can see why audiences are so split on this.
As an accurate historical piece, it is nearly perfect. Everything from the sets, the costumes, the manner in which people spoke, every last detail was meticulously perfect. Daniel Day Lewis, Tommy Lee Jones, Sally Field, David Strathairn, and the rest of the cast were exceptional. Everything about this movie screams "excellent film making".
So why do I feel disappointed?
Was it boring? I can see where some would feel that way. It certainly wasn't an action movie. But I have sat through many "talky dramas" that were enthralling. I personally never felt bored here. I would say I felt detached. Was it pretentious? I never got that feeling from the movie. I don't think Spielberg was screaming "look at me, how great and impressive I am" with this movie. Besides, why the fuck would Spielberg need to be pretentious? He has more money than god and is arguably the greatest film maker ever. He could make 15 flops in row and still get the green light on anything he wants. If anyone is in full on "I don't give a fuck what people think" mode, it's him. So no, it's not pretentious.
Where I feel this film failed is in the fact it didn't enlighten me on anything I didn't already know about the subject matter. This literally felt like the lesson from my high school history class. Perhaps there is no new ground here, perhaps every angle and every story about the subject has been told. It is Abraham Lincoln after all. I guess nothing more can be said. If that truly is the case, if there is nothing more than what we read in our history books, it begs the question, why make the movie?
All I know was in the end, I felt underwhelmed.
I think it tried to feel much more "important" throughout then it should have. Not saying it wasn't an important time in American history, however it just seemed unnecessary (we totally agree on that).
I guess I say pretentious because it even fucking exists in the first place, I suppose. I think it's trying to be more revelatory than anything. Like we DIDN'T know anything about this president or period in time, but here's Spielberg to SHOW US how it all happened!