#1  
Old 11-07-2012, 02:24 AM
Lincoln





LINCOLN

Directed by Steven Spielberg

Written by Tony Kushner (Based on Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin)

Starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tommy Lee Jones, David Strathairn, James Spader, Jared Harris, Hal Holbrook, John Hawkes, Jackie Earle Haley, Bruce McGill, Tim Blake Nelson, Lee Pace

Rated PG-13 for an intense scene of war violence, some images of carnage and brief strong language

Running Time of 150 Minutes



As the Civil War continues to rage, America's president struggles with continuing carnage on the battlefield and as he fights with many inside his own cabinet on the decision to emancipate the slaves.

The film opens in select theatres on November 9th and wide on November 16th

The reviews are exceedingly positive and I can't wait to see it. I expect it to be quite good and a strong awards player this season.
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  #2  
Old 11-07-2012, 04:21 AM
It's Steven Spielberg so naturally I'm there. I'll watch anything by this man. No other filmmaker has made more of my all time favorites than this man and he continues to be awesome, having made 2 of last year's best movies!
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  #3  
Old 11-07-2012, 08:21 AM
Haven't really been impressed by the trailers, but early word is pretty positive and it sounds like it's Spielberg's best in a while. Apparently it's also quite comedic, which intrigues me.
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  #4  
Old 11-07-2012, 10:31 AM

I'm so there.....
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  #5  
Old 11-08-2012, 09:49 AM
Yup, the great buzz so far has me pretty excited for this. The cast is a goldmine of awesome as well.
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  #6  
Old 11-08-2012, 10:11 PM
My review:

Lincoln is not the film I was expecting. The biopic so often exists as a broad tableau of an individual’s entire life that attempts to shove as much as possible into a single film. That’s the safe and expected route. Although I remain an unabashed fan of Steven Spielberg, he has been known to occasionally take the safe route. There is a direction this film could have gone in that although likely would have been fine, it would not have compared to the brilliance that is Lincoln. Based “in part” on Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, Spielberg and screenwriter Tony Kushner decide that instead of a typical tableau the film shall focus on a very specific and short period in Lincoln’s life. This allows Lincoln to achieve a level of intimacy and nuance rarely afforded in biographical filmmaking, and also renders the film far more lively, rich, and witty then one could possible imagine.

Although it perhaps extends itself a bit too far in its denouement, Lincoln focuses almost entirely on January 1865, shortly after the president won re-election. This was a volatile time in our country which existed as a war torn and divided nation. The Civil War was reaching its inevitable end, and Lincoln’s focus shifted to the passing of the 13th amendment to the constitution, which would abolish slavery. Guised under this framework, much of Lincoln is devoted to illustrating the behind the scenes dealings of our country’s political process, and in particular what it takes for the House to pass an amendment. What’s striking about the way Lincoln unfolds is how similar and relevant it still seems today. Politics can be shady business, and Lincoln does not shy away from showing the backwards dealings and scheming. Thusly, Kushner structures the film as a series of conversations in various rooms. A playwright at heart, this could have been portentous business. Instead, the film almost plays out like a heist. Lincoln and his team are the underdogs that must secure the necessary additional votes from the Democratic party that will allow the 13th to pass. The dialogue is rich and highly literate, filled with language and wordplay that extends beyond the norm and becomes its own sort of poetry. It is exceedingly dense and witty, and as delivered by the overwhelmingly large and accomplished cast it achieves a texture and rhythm that is almost unnaturally compelling. The outcome of Lincoln’s quest for the 13th is well known, yet the tension still builds considerably and with great fun. Yes, this historical film about the life of a President is great fun.

As the political dealings unfold, Kushner and Spielberg are able to explore Mr. Lincoln with great depth and nuance. Lincoln was a storyteller, a man of great warmth and power, and quite stubborn too. The decisions Lincoln had to make in order to achieve the 13th are morally ambiguous, and refreshingly the film paints Lincoln as a flawed man. In his relationship with his wife and the varying ways in which he treats his sons we see Lincoln as a family man but one that struggles with balance. None of this would be possible without the considerable talents of Daniel Day-Lewis. To say that Day-Lewis is a phenomenal actor is an understatement. He inhabits each of his carefully chosen roles with the utmost dedication to the point that he transforms himself entirely. Day-Lewis not only bares a striking physical resemblance to Abraham Lincoln, but within five minutes we forget that we are watching an actor. This is Abraham Lincoln, plainly and simply. From his historically accurate high and composed voice with a mild Kentucky tinge, to his posture, gait, and gestures we see not an actor or a character, but a miraculous portrayal of one of the most important and revered human beings in our history. Day-Lewis’ Lincoln has great strength and power yet he is also warm and fatherly, glancing directly into the eyes of the audience and making an indelible connection.

It would be easy for Day-Lewis to outshine any actor that works opposite him, yet Sally Field more than holds her own as Mary Todd Lincoln and excels as a no-nonsense woman that supports her husband yet also struggles with the recent loss of her son. Field brings a perfect balance of power and vulnerability. Even better is Tommy Lee Jones as Thaddeus Stevens, who reveals himself to be the film’s beating heart. Jones is as passionate and compelling as he has ever been, both heartbreaking and curmudgeonly. As W.N. Bilbo, an operative hired to convince various Democrats to vote for the 13th, James Spader is hilarious and filled with life. It would be easy to single out any other number of terrific actors in this film, but it suffices to say that this is a committed and passionate ensemble that has come together to portray this important story of our nation’s history with conviction.

Spielberg resists all of his showier urges and instead deals in intimacy and restraint. This is as pulled back as I can recall Spielberg, and he allows the acting and the text to tell the story. This is a masterful feat because the film still has a rich tone and flawless flow. Spielberg’s touch is clear yet never oversteps. Collaborating with his usual technical team – composer John Williams, editor Michael Kahn, cinematographer Janusz Kaminski – the film is expectedly handsome. Instead of using a wealth of CG or grand establishing shots, Spielberg utilizes simple details and small moments to convey an accurate sense of time. This film feels wholly authentic, both in its time period and in its presentation of this great man and his quest to achieve his singular goal. What could have been claustrophobic is instead intimate and moving, as we see not only a portrait of a man but a display of the complexity, absurdity, and inspiring potential of our American political system. In the interest of the greater good, and perhaps with a little finagling, differences can be put aside in order to cooperate and make things happen. Thusly this film carries great relevance and importance in light of our staunchly divided political climate. We can look to it for inspiration, for food for thought, for affirmation that our political system can accomplish great things. Ah, the power of truly excellent filmmaking.

Last edited by SpikeDurden; 11-09-2012 at 02:32 AM..
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  #7  
Old 11-24-2012, 05:02 PM
Enjoyed it, but about 30 minutes should have been cut and holy hell was that ending mishandled. Should have ended with him walking down the hallway. The misleading scene that followed was pathetic.
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  #8  
Old 11-24-2012, 05:36 PM
Hey Bourne, I was really unimpressed by the trailer (like you) so now that you've watched I'm wondering what you think: Is it worth it to shell out the time and money (not insignificant for me these days) to see it? Or did the trailers not do it justice? Your post seemed sort of iffy, like it could go either way.
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  #9  
Old 11-24-2012, 06:43 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordon View Post
Hey Bourne, I was really unimpressed by the trailer (like you) so now that you've watched I'm wondering what you think: Is it worth it to shell out the time and money (not insignificant for me these days) to see it? Or did the trailers not do it justice? Your post seemed sort of iffy, like it could go either way.
It was definitely better than the trailers suggest. I dug the political scheming, Tommy Lee Jones stealing scenes, and some great minor supporting performances from guys like Michael Stuhlbarg and Adam Driver (Gale from Breaking Bad even makes an appearance). It's also impeccably crafted and lit and, save for a few scenes, is pretty restrained overall (the John Williams cues are actually kept to a minimum). One of the big issues I have with it is the familial drama. I am a fan of Joseph Gordon-Levitt and he's fine here, but that aspect of the story just feels so out of place. I also found that it got a bit repetitive in that it seemed like every few scenes Lincoln would tell a story in an attempt to make a profound analogy. I guess this was a trait of his and they do poke fun at it, but I thought it became a bit much after a while. The really good stuff is with Tommy Lee Jones, who steals the movie. DDL is great, but how he is the frontrunner over Joaquin for the Oscar can only be explained by Joaquin's chilliness in interviews and the fact that The Master was relatively polarizing. DDL keeps it restrained, which I appreciated, but I think he has done much better work.

And then the ending, man was I pissed. It had an absolutely perfect note to end on that would have made up for some of the flaws, but the fact that it continued beyond that point (in a way that I found kind of insulting) just made the rest of the film's flaws that much more evident. I would recommend giving it a watch, but your money may be better spent on some of the other upcoming offerings.

Last edited by Bourne101; 11-24-2012 at 06:47 PM..
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  #10  
Old 11-25-2012, 09:43 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bourne101 View Post
DDL is great, but how he is the frontrunner over Joaquin for the Oscar can only be explained by Joaquin's chilliness in interviews and the fact that The Master was relatively polarizing. DDL keeps it restrained, which I appreciated, but I think he has done much better work.

And then the ending, man was I pissed. It had an absolutely perfect note to end on that would have made up for some of the flaws, but the fact that it continued beyond that point (in a way that I found kind of insulting) just made the rest of the film's flaws that much more evident. I would recommend giving it a watch, but your money may be better spent on some of the other upcoming offerings.
Fair point about the ending. It should have ended with
Spoiler:
Abe walking down the hallway
, but I was honestly not bothered by what followed. As for DDL vs Phoenix, I honestly prefer DDL's performance. Phoenix was strong, but the movie he was in was just not as great as advertised, in my judgment.

Gordon: I would strongly urge you to see it. I definitely found it to be worthwhile, and having seen it, I can say that the trailer was way more melodramatic than the film actually was.
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  #11  
Old 11-25-2012, 09:46 PM
Movie left me reflecting on the ongoing issue of race in the US~ how far we have come, and how things stand now. But that is probably a topic for another time and place.
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