Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Reel News...First Trailer for Spielberg's Lincoln [2012]

This season's most talked about movie that's not titled The Master, film fanatics and historical junkies alike recently got their first glimpse into the upcoming movie Lincoln.  Spielberg's film becomes the second one this year to center on our 16th President.  Unfortunately in the upcoming biopic,  President Lincoln will not be wielding an axe and hunting down vampires.  On the plus side however, he will be portrayed by two-time Oscar winner Daniel Day-Lewis, so that should help fill the vampire void a bit.  The movie also boasts a number of other top notch actors like Tommy Lee Jones, John Hawkes, Sally Field and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, so we should have no problems with the acting here.  And with some folks already wanting to hand Lewis his Academy Award after this trailer, it seems no surprise that all the focus is on him, as it always is with any DDL performance.

But this interest should not be all about the Oscars.  I'll admit due to my busy schedule this summer I could not find time to make it to go see Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter and as a result this trailer marks the first time I have ever seen Honest Abe portrayed cinematically.  Heck, it will be the first time I ever seen the guy move.  Like any other historical figure, our memory is served best by how ever many portraits and paintings they were willing to sit through.  Tall and stiff, slightly angled one way, I could hardly imagine George Washington doing anything other than standing that way.  To me, he has not other expression.  Lincoln is the same way, though the advent of photography during the mid-1800s offers him a bit more variety.

Watching the trailer, it seemed almost as if Spielberg knew that notion of mine and toyed with the idea.  The first time we see Lincoln it is from behind- along with the second and third times as well.  Like I have always imagined, he just sits there pondering as Congressman yell into his ears telling him how to end the war.  Almost a minute goes by before he says anything at all.  Finally when he gets the chance, his words are riveting, nothing short of fascinating- just as I would try to imagine.  Though I hate starting Oscar rumors before Thanksgiving at the very earliest, Lewis certainly shines in the brief glance we're given so I will agree for now that a third statue is not entirely out of the question.  The nomination is a gimme.

And I can see Lincoln racking up a few more nominations and acclaim outside of Lewis' acting.  Even last year's War Horse, a good not great Spielberg movie, grabbed six nominations and plenty of love from the critics.  I would think Lincoln has a stronger force behind it, but only time will tell. 



  1. This movie looks a little softer than I thought it would, which isn't necessarily a criticism, I'm just not as wowed by the trailer as I thought I might be.

    I do love what DDL is doing with his voice. Very reserved and soft spoken. Oscar noms abound, I'm sure. But we shall see.

  2. Totally agree. For something as intense as the Civil War and the Lincoln presidency in general, I expected something a little stronger than what was seen in the trailer. Before I decided to cut the post short, I was going to point out some comparisons between the Lincoln and the War Horse trailer. War Horse I understood as one of those soft and nostalgic Spielberg movies, but I did not expect the same tone for Lincoln.

    Who knows it could turn out differently. Maybe its just the John Williams score that's making us think that.

    1. I definitely thought it looked a little War Horsey. I love Spielberg, but I did not enjoy that movie at all, so I'm really hoping Lincoln is a tad more heavy hitting, and not as nostalgic.