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Lincoln - 19/3/2013 2:24:02 AM   

Posts: 27
Joined: 7/1/2013
After a bloody opening, a typical Spielberg moment occurs itís awkward and rings false. Two black soldiers stand before the President and by the scenes end one of the soldiers is relaying the Gettysburg address back to the seated icon. John Williams score rises. Thankfully these moments are few and far between.

Its January 1865 two months have passed since Lincolnís re-election and the civil war has been going for four years. The film focuses on the passing of the thirteenth amendment to abolish slavery and the ending of the civil war. Adapted by Tony Kushner from the Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Doris Kearns Goodwin.

The film Lincoln has been on Spielbergís mind for many years. As a five year old child his uncle took him to the Lincoln memorial and he felt the great man was looking directly at him. In 1999 he met the writer Kearns Goodwin who was writing a book about Lincoln and he asked if sheíd sell the movie rights to him. For many years the only actor he wanted for the role consistently declined his offering. Daniel Day Lewis thought it was a preposterous idea to take on the role. He didnít feel he was capable of doing the work. However once he committed to the work he spent a year devoted to researching the character. The performance is mesmerising, beautifully detailed and rich that it will benefit from repeat viewings.

Spielberg has long been heralded as a technical wizard behind the camera. But what is truly remarkable about him as a filmmaker is his love of performance. Even with his popcorn entertainments he has been able to make the ludicrous real by the selection of actors. Think Robert Shaw as Quint in Jaws or Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones. But here his partnership with Day Lewis joins his pantheon of superb performances including Tom Hanks in Saving Private Ryan, and Liam Neeson in Schindlerís List.

Spielberg is intensely interested in the words and performance. The film feels as if it has been a

< Message edited by elab49 -- 19/6/2013 9:59:32 AM >

(in reply to Empire Admin)
Post #: 151
Lincoln - 22/3/2013 1:15:05 AM   
Emyr Thy King


Posts: 2165
Joined: 13/4/2006
From: London
Interesting how a thread about Lincoln descends into a three-way granny handbagging shot put trial. Although that's life imitating art imitating life considering the film features a number of scenes where opposing senators heckle and harangue each other. Which incidentally leads into where I'll start on the film: the verbal jousting. Some of the best scenes for me were the verbal tussles between Thaddeus Stevens and Fernando Wood. Now one can easily be forgiven for thinking that this was the director's and particularly writer's way of expressing 'outrage' at the racial politics of the day but I imagine much of what was said was from actually recorded transcripts of what must've been heated discussions on the senate floor. Usually Tommy Lee Jones just plays Tommy Lee Jones but with a slightly different growl but to be fair he delivered a great performance and stood out as one of the most radical and noblest characters (minus the slight political blackmailing).

However, it goes without saying that Daniel Day-Lewis was the stand-out performer, the man's incredible and can do no wrong. Whichever role he inhabits, he does so quite literally. The whole thing about wanting to be called "Mr. President" or whatever in-between takes is a bit OTT but given the performances he gives you'd be calling him Babe Ruth if it means he hits one out of the park, which he always does. We can argue over whether the on-screen depiction of Lincoln matches the historical version or not but I honestly felt as though I watched a living, breathing and talking Lincoln from the past. Everything from his voice, the cadence of it, to his gait and every slight movement and tick just utterly convincing and whilst I think the Oscars and pretty much any awards ceremony is a decadent pile of self-congratulating wankery; he does deserve every adulation and I dare say he's probably quite the humble man like Lincoln was. The other supporting cast were very good and I thought Sally Field did quite well in showing the hurt and pain over the loss of their son. I think in a film primarily about the 13th amendment and Lincoln's political travails that such an unconnected occurence could easily have been ignored but fair play they tried to colour in Lincoln's personal life and tragedy. Particularly his strained relationship with his elder sons and perhaps Lincoln's own tumult over the loss of lives in the war.

The score by John Williams was fine, I think it's guilty of being a bit too self-indulgent. Particularly with 'cue music' being a bit too frontal in prompting us when there's a 'dramatic' scene. I would've preferred it to be a bit more solemn and subtle in accentuating Lincoln's more contemplative moments (both in respects to the film and his character). In such a film, the drama of a scene should be enough without needing such brash and bold musical cues to overload the senses but fortunately it doesn't nudge the film out of the 'right track lane'. I've seen a comment by our resident doctor that some of the cinematography rendered certain scenes to bad pirate copy quality. I don't recall that experience, if anything I found the lighting to be on the ball and atmospheric, almost moody and it really suited the film. No bright lights or angelic figures bathed in cascading heavenly light, just dimly lit rooms and dusty rooms with men trying to bring about change even if it meant being very shrewd and a tad unscrupulous. Hence the more appropriate dark and slightly grainy lighting.

As it's been mentioned, the film is just as much about politics as it is about the abolition of slavery and the back door dealing, unscrupulous/shady deals and a spot of bribery to get people on side which would put the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority in a tailspin. Politics, just like life isn't always black and white and certainly isn't always pleasant nor pretty but once in a while something positive can happen to lighten up that grey.

< Message edited by Emyr Thy King -- 22/3/2013 1:16:56 AM >

(in reply to Conboy)
Post #: 152
Does Lewis is the reincarnation of Lincoln? It is? - 11/4/2013 11:39:06 PM   


Posts: 41
Joined: 30/3/2013
From: Portugal
That's what happened, Steven Spielberg asked Robert Zemeckis to borrow him the car of Dr. Emmett, went back in time by 5 minutes before the death of Abraham Lincoln and brought him to the present and asked him to act as himself in the days before the 13th amendment been aproved... that's what happened (just kidding)!
"Lincoln" from start to finish is fantastic, the characters and the story are in the greatest perfection, Tony Kushner should have made a very careful study to present the historical facts in the film so perfect. The film from begining seems boring, that's because it dosen't focus attention on the civil war (although it appears to be and the reason for all the confusion) but in the political area, during the civil war, the union government was in a total chaos, in one side the Republicans who wanted the approval of the 13th amendment and thus the abolition because they thought this was the only way the war has an end, and the other side the Democrats who wanted the opposite, but after the war but slightly modified.
The politic in this movie it is very well built, and Spielberg can make it so exciting, and the historical picture that makes this film is fantastic, and the historical characters that make up the film are superb as Lincoln himself.
And another positive point on the film is that it is not a biographic film about Lincoln, but in his last days of life, but throughout the film we can deduct his past, and the characters around him.
We can see a Lincoln so realistic and perfect, we see the person he was, and his values, we see the hero he was.
Daniel Day Lewis is PERFECT in every detail, his Lincoln is fantastic and so real, Sally Field fantastic as always, the wife of Lincoln smart and kind with a fantastic performance; Tommy Lee Jones nor comments, he indulges perfectly her character, the great Thaddeus Stevens, and the connection that Lincoln and Thaddeus has in the movie is so fantastic to see, all this phenomenal cast on their

(in reply to Empire Admin)
Post #: 153
DVD review - 2/5/2013 10:38:11 AM   


Posts: 192
Joined: 10/8/2012
Funny how this movie was downgraded to 4 stars in the DVD-review section of Empire. Has it become less good 4 months later?

(in reply to Empire Admin)
Post #: 154
Patience will be needed....... - 10/6/2013 9:29:54 PM   


Posts: 82
Joined: 5/10/2005
Probably the most boring Film I have EVER seen in the Cinema, and one of the longest too, and I cannot imagine watching this on DVD at home. Good luck to anyone that has the patience to wallow through this one........

(in reply to Empire Admin)
Post #: 155
RE: Patience will be needed....... - 15/6/2013 12:14:12 PM   
Mr Gittes


Posts: 524
Joined: 3/2/2013
Well, the comments about this being a rather boring movie are at least a little more refreshing than the usual complaints about Spielberg.

Yes, some will be bored by this film - it is definitely not for light viewing. However, those with patience who'll pay close attention will be rewarded with a damn great movie. I would also highly recommend repeat viewings to fully soak it all in. And trust me, it is worth it, as Lincoln is a magnificent achievement in almost every department - the performances, the screenplay, the direction, cinematography, costumes and production design (the period detail is out of this world, possibly the best I've ever seen) - and it's a real treat to watch them all come together.

Now I'm not saying it's a perfect movie; you could say that Joseph Gordon Levitt's role was slightly underwritten, and the perfect moment to roll the credits occurred five minutes before the actual ending (those who have seen it will know the scene I'm talking about).

So all in all, I'd give it 9/10. This and Django Unchained were my favourite movies of the year.

< Message edited by Mr Gittes -- 29/6/2013 10:15:55 PM >

(in reply to n13roy)
Post #: 156
RE: DVD review - 15/6/2013 12:19:34 PM   
Mr Gittes


Posts: 524
Joined: 3/2/2013



Funny how this movie was downgraded to 4 stars in the DVD-review section of Empire. Has it become less good 4 months later?

I must say, I was confused about that myself. They didn't even give any explanation for it, nor did they mention any negatives about the movie.

(in reply to dseys)
Post #: 157
Oh please,5stars??? - 17/6/2013 9:28:37 PM   


Posts: 76
Joined: 7/4/2006
2stars at most for the acting,otherwise really boring shite,deserved the Oscar though

(in reply to Empire Admin)
Post #: 158
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