Movie News

Nordling Says LINCOLN Is A Triumph!

Published at: Nov. 7, 2012, 9:21 p.m. CST

Nordling here.
 
By now, most people know where I come from on Steven Spielberg.  He is, and will always be, my favorite director.   More than any other director, he is responsible for my adoration and love of cinema.
 
While I am inclined to make bold statements about Spielberg movies, there is no denying there is passion in every frame of LINCOLN. For those two and a half hours, we live and breathe, celebrate and mourn in that world.  It is utterly transporting and genuine, and it does not need bombast or those rousing John Williams-inspired moments (although his score is quite good).  Spielberg embraces the quieter moments of LINCOLN with such grace and restraint that the movie earns every emotion and every bursting, powerful moment. Perhaps it’s cliché to say that Steven Spielberg has never made a movie quite like LINCOLN – a movie that is far more interested in the power of spoken word and smart people discussing important things than in spectacular imagery, or actors staring off into the middle distance as something amazing happens before their eyes.  
 
Partially based on Doris Kearns Goodwin’s TEAM OF RIVALS, Tony Kushner’s (ANGELS IN AMERICA) work here shows us the nuts and bolts of America, and while Kushner’s script isn’t naïve in how messy democracy can get, it rings with an optimism that is impossible to deny.  It is also not afraid to be as intelligent as it can be, and damn those who cannot ride along with it – at one point, Lincoln says, “Oh, the joys of being comprehended,” and Kushner’s script is all about the pleasure of smart, witty dialogue. The script takes great joy in sitting back in a corner while such rich conversations play out, every word dripping like honey off the lips.  Listening to it is a genuine thrill – the cadence and flow of it reminded me quite a bit of MILLER’S CROSSING.  This is the best-written Steven Spielberg movie to date, bar none.  This isn’t a mere civics lesson on display, but living, breathing government at work.
 
LINCOLN takes place during the final four months of President Abraham Lincoln’s (Daniel Day-Lewis) life.  Although the war is winding down, thousands of Americans are dying, and it looks like the South will not surrender willingly.  Newly elected to his second term, although Lincoln has passed the Emancipation Proclamation, it is largely considered to be a wartime powers act, and could very well be thrown aside once the war ends.  LINCOLN follows the 13th Amendment as it makes its way to the House of Representatives.  Secretary of State William Seward (David Strathairn) does everything in his power, legal and not-quite-legal, to ensure its passage during the lame duck session of Congress before the newly elected members take over. Lincoln knows that the Amendment will never pass once the South and the North cease fighting.  He must reluctantly ally himself with the more radical members of the Republican Party, led by Thaddeus Stevens (Tommy Lee Jones) if the 13th Amendment has any hope of passing, and must also figure out how to negotiate with those Democrats who could help make the 13th Amendment into law.  Lincoln is running out of time – once the lame duck session ends, Congress will have no impetus to pass it, and if the war ends, the 13th Amendment could die right then and there.
 
Lincoln is also dealing with familial strife.  His son Robert (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) wants to join in the fight, and Mary Todd (Sally Field) is trying to hold everything together, all the while still grieving for her lost son William.  Tad (Gulliver McGrath) clings to his father like a lifeboat, still reeling from the loss of his brother.  There are moments in these scenes that that come across as a bit melodramatic and don’t quite work, but Sally Field is remarkable as the troubled Mary Todd.  Field fills Mary Todd with life and makes her more than a simple caricature.  Her scenes with Day-Lewis are strong and truthful, and both actors bring that complicated, tumultuous relationship to life in a way that feels genuine.
 
And then there is Daniel Day-Lewis.  He dominates every moment onscreen, but he does not simply fill the space with bluster or grandiose speeches. The true power of Day-Lewis' work comes when Lincoln doesn’t speak at all.  Day-Lewis’ performance is so nuanced that you can see him listening, storing every moment and word into his mind.  Lincoln is a jokester, a storyteller, and Day-Lewis takes his Lincoln to a spiritual place that I don’t think any other actor playing this role has gone.  There really aren’t enough superlatives to describe how good Day-Lewis is in this, but he brings Lincoln to life in such a way that he feels real and not simply a piece of history.   Day-Lewis plays Lincoln with a keen mind that hungers for any new bit of information, devouring every piece of new intelligence like a child eating candy.  There is such real joy and heartbreak in Day-Lewis’s work that although you can’t take your eyes off him when he is onscreen, it almost hurts to look at him.
 
There are so many amazing performances in LINCOLN – not only of Day-Lewis and Field, but of pretty much every actor.  It could be said that every character actor working in Hollywood today plays a role in LINCOLN, including such actors as John Hawkes or Jackie Earle Haley, who all do terrific work.  But several stand out, especially Tommy Lee Jones as Stevens, as a man so full of passion that it threatens to overwhelm him and his lifelong goal to end slavery.  James Spader is surprising and terrific as a not-quite-reputable man hired by Seward to get House members to vote for the Amendment, doing acts that aren’t quite ethical (or legal).  Strathairn as Seward is the voice of pragmatism for Lincoln – while Lincoln weighs all his options, Seward must make sure that the President’s will is done, even if he is not sure that it is the right thing to do.  Finally, Hal Holbrook, always great, brings dignity and weight to Blair, who wants to end the war as soon as possible, whatever it takes, even if it means losing the Amendment.
 
Even the film’s portrayal of the Republican Party is glorious and complicated. LINCOLN reminds us that this is a party that truly championed freeing millions from bondage and torture.  Whatever your opinion of that party today, LINCOLN does not forget that the Republican Party changed everything, for the glory of humanity. LINCOLN in its purest, most patriotic heart is not afraid to shy away from the difficulty and the animosity that has always made up our government, but also acknowledges that through that strife we are made better for it.  Sometimes, in the tumult of today, it is difficult to remember that. LINCOLN reminds us of a patriotism that comes from the knowledge that no matter how messy things get, no matter how much we yell and scream, when we come together, we achieve great, great things.
 
LINCOLN assures us that genuine love of country and for our fellow Americans regardless of any differences, even in times of great strife, is always possible. This is a love letter to democracy, and it reminds us that through all the insults, the anger, the passion, and the speeches, the work of our nation proceeds.  One particular moment in the movie, as the camera pans over the House of Representatives as they comprehend the momentous act that they have done, still burns in my mind.
 
As far as Steven Spielberg goes, he has crafted such a marvelous work here, unlike anything he’s really attempted before.  I remember in one documentary about his work that Spielberg has said that the common theme in all of his movies is the simple power of communication, and how wonderful and compelling that has always been, and how it makes for such amazing drama.  With LINCOLN, Spielberg has created a work for the ages, a movie so powerful and rich with emotion, but never sentimental for sentimentality’s sake.  Every emotion is earned, every moment rings true.  It could be said that LINCOLN overstays its welcome a little bit (considering everyone knows how it ends, Spielberg takes the more obvious approach when a little bit of restraint would have done wonders), but LINCOLN is some of the best work Spielberg has ever done.  He trusts that the story is so compelling that he knows enough to get out of its way.   It is one of Steven Spielberg’s very best movies.  It is an utter triumph.
 
Nordling, out.  Follow me on Twitter!

Readers Talkback

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  • Are you saying that the film has a more natural and humble tone that the ads to date?

  • Nov. 7, 2012, 9:25 p.m. CST

    First

    by Art

    NIce poster

  • Nov. 7, 2012, 9:33 p.m. CST

    Great review nordling

    by Robert Evans

    Looking forward to it.

  • Nov. 7, 2012, 9:33 p.m. CST

    CAN'T WAIT!

    by Chris Moody

    After the terrible news yesterday, I can't wait to see what a REAL president was like!

  • Nov. 7, 2012, 9:36 p.m. CST

    Nordling: QUESTION...

    by Chris Moody

    Did this film remind you of any other Spielberg films? As a black man, I enjoyed AMISTAD. However, I realize that the film just didn't have mass appeal. I also enjoyed WAR HORSE even if it looked a bit contrived and even simplistic. Did this film remind you of any other films -- Spielberg or otherwise?

  • Nov. 7, 2012, 9:38 p.m. CST

    ccchhhrrriii... hell with it

    by Nordling

    Not really. I love the scripts from his other movies, but none of them are like this. This thing is poetry.

  • Nov. 7, 2012, 9:51 p.m. CST

    Can't wait for this

    by KonkBob

  • Nov. 7, 2012, 10 p.m. CST

    mrd

    by Nordling

    LINCOLN is not pompous in any way. The trailer has big moments in it, but much of the time it's simply about the mechanics of government but it's done in a compelling way.

  • Nov. 7, 2012, 10:03 p.m. CST

    No vampires, no interest.

    by Gary Makin

  • Nov. 7, 2012, 10:07 p.m. CST

    Anything DDL does will be viewed as Oscar bait

    by terry1978

    Not to diminish the man's work, but that's just the gravitas he kind of brings to it due to being all choosy and shit. I would like to see him break the streak and just do a big ass blockbuster one day before he dies.

  • Nov. 7, 2012, 10:10 p.m. CST

    Nord, how is Lee Pace?

    by BlaGyver

    A bud of mine was an extra in a few scenes with him in the House of Reps and he said that Pace was just delightful to watch. Said he was clearly having a blast playing a massive jackass. Did that translate to the screen?

  • Nov. 7, 2012, 10:11 p.m. CST

    Re: Spielberg's LINCOLN

    by ArmageddonProductions

    I think the trouble with Spielberg, and to partially address ccchhhrrriiisssmredux's points, is that, since E.T., he has either struggled to make "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride" or show how "serious" of a filmmaker he is every time out. The utterly effortless, cutting-edge mastery he demonstrated with JAWS, RAIDERS, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS and DUEL has taken a back seat to grim determination. He used to have a lot of FUN making movies. Maybe 1941 burned him worse than we know?</p><p> Anyway, movies like AMISTAD or WAR HORSE or THE COLOR PURPLE or EMPIRE OF THE SUN don't resonate the way his earlier stuff did because there's no FUN involved, and that's exactly what we used to go see a Spielberg movie for. For a while, his name on a movie was synonymous with "theatrical event". He briefly recaptured that with JURASSIC PARK, and even came perilously close to demonstrating his cinematic godhood with SAVING PRIVATE RYAN ... but it seems like he clips his own wings almost every time out these days. You can easily see the greatness is still there, maybe even dying to come out, but he refuses to let it happen. Some -- myself included -- would argue that he probably doesn't even need to. But I'd like to see him pull out the stops at least one more time before he retires. IF he retires. Chances are high he'll drop dead behind a camera after yelling "CUT!"

  • Nov. 7, 2012, 10:15 p.m. CST

    Daniel Day-Lewis is the greatest actor of our time...

    by Chris Moody

    Seriously. When generations look back at the late 20th Century/early 21st Century films, Daniel Day-Lewis will be one of the "great ones." As is, he is still one of the most underrated actors. You forget that you are looking at Day-Lewis when you see him in a roll.

  • Nov. 7, 2012, 10:28 p.m. CST

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=I_iq5yzJ-Dk

    by Chris Moody

    Crazy. A man who saw Lincoln killed was on a TV game show alongside Henry Morgan and Lucille Ball. It is crazy to know that my dad was alive (albeit a kid) at the same time as a man who was in Ford's Theatre the night that Lincoln died.

  • Nov. 7, 2012, 10:42 p.m. CST

    I've seen this twice now and I'll say...

    by paper

    Tommy Lee Jones is amazing. DDL is too of course, but Jones was a definite surprise. And I expected some sappiness all around due to the trailer looking like War Horse, but no. It's not. Much better. But like War Horse, this movie could definitely work as a stage play, with the storytelling and speeches, using a few key locations repeatedly, stuff like that. And the recruting scenes from Spader/Hawkes slightly reminded me of the Seven Samurai recruiting. Good stuff.

  • Nov. 7, 2012, 10:54 p.m. CST

    Does it cover his debates with Douglass?

    by vic twenty

    I understand Douglass was sleepy and unfocused in the first one, but came on strong later.

  • Nov. 7, 2012, 11:05 p.m. CST

    @vic No, it's exclusively the last 4 months of his life.

    by paper

  • Nov. 7, 2012, 11:17 p.m. CST

    Spoiler Alert: He dies in the end!

    by Hot_Machete

    Just saying.

  • Nov. 7, 2012, 11:34 p.m. CST

    DDL underrated?????

    by manuehl

    you must be kidding?

  • Nov. 7, 2012, 11:48 p.m. CST

    ccchhhrrriiisssmredux, that youtube clip is unbelievable

    by Simpsonian

  • It fell apart in the third act but I thought he had something special there. ~p> Unfortunately I am in the severe minority on this, I know.

  • Lets just say that he didn't go off and make Howard the Duck at that point in his career.

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 12:25 a.m. CST

    Thanks Nord

    by MrD

    And as a political junkie I'd be fine with a film about the government mechanics from that era.

  • false alarm!!!

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 12:44 a.m. CST

    American audience vs non American audience question.

    by t

    As a non-american i was mostly interested in the film for DDL's acting. I not that bothered by the history as such and how accurately it is shown. That isn't to say I don't have an interest in history I read a lot about WWII for example. I just wondering how this type of movie affects US viewers. Thanks for any replies.

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 12:55 a.m. CST

    @ uberfreak:

    by Chris Moody

    First of all, I am not a "teabagger." I have never been to a "tea party" -- which are loosely organized at best -- even if most of us agree with their goal for "taxation WITH representation." You, however, are an asshole. Secondly, although Daniel Day-Lewis is a great actor; however, he is not my "hero." Third, I seriously doubt that Daniel Day-Lewis is so ideologically extreme that he would attempt to "slap" me. Fourth, I am 6'4" tall and an ex-football player. Even if Day-Lewis was a jackass Liberal extremist, I don't think that he would "slap" me anyway. Finally, you are an asshole.

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 12:56 a.m. CST

    @ simpsonian:

    by Chris Moody

    I agree! My dad was two years old when that was filmed. It is crazy to think that some people who are alive today actually spoke with and heard a first-hand account of a man who saw Lincoln assassinated.

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 1 a.m. CST

    @ charliechaplinfilmsin3d:

    by Chris Moody

    From what I have read, Spielberg, Day-Lewis and Co. went to great lengths to be historically accurate. Will it be interesting? Mark Twain said, "Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't." So, this might be more interesting than some folks would suppose. If you like to read, the NY Times bestseller KILLING LINCOLN is fantastic!

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 2:30 a.m. CST

    Teabagger

    by electraglide

    Means something very different where I come from...

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 2:57 a.m. CST

    Hal "yes, Billy" Holbrook is still alive? Wow

    by DiamondJoe

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 3:07 a.m. CST

    dercomrade

    by kwisatzhaderach

    So, according to you, Schindler's List, The Lost World, Amistad, Saving Private Ryan, A.I., Minority Report, Catch Me If You Can, War of the Worlds and Munich are not good films? <p> Idiot.

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 3:08 a.m. CST

    Steven Spielberg

    by CuervoJones

    God.

  • The beard did his best work when he made pulp movies for the audience to enjoy like Jaws, Indy, ET, Close Encounters. He scored a marvelous hit against the grain with the double wammy of Jurrasic Park & Schindlers list. But he has tried replicate that ever since and his work suffers because he's desperate to be both serious and blockbuster. WotW and Munich in 2005 were both good but each could have been more had he not flim flamed between genres. He's not Paul Thomas Anderson and someone should tell him. Being 70 also makes him see things a bit more twee. I hope Daniel Day Lewis gives us something special like There Will Be Blood, but everything is won or lost on the cutting room floor.

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 4:45 a.m. CST

    DANIEL DAY LEWIS FOR NEW STAR WARS

    by Ice Paul

    He could be maybe a really tall jawa or anything really

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 5:10 a.m. CST

    drstrangerlove

    by NuckyThompson

    exactly my thoughts

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 5:16 a.m. CST

    uberfreak

    by MJAYACE

    You need to educate yourself a bit if you think the Republican party is the only party with any racists in it. In fact I might argue that more leftist parties, have a much more damaging form of racism AND class warfare in it then some of the outer fringe that occupies today's Republican party. Think hard about how those in power in gov't enslave minorities and the poor by the continued promise of entitlement. Think hard about how those in power in gov't feel that individuals are too weak and dependant to pull themselves up, so we must take "care" of them, and by that continued care we retain our power and control.

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 5:49 a.m. CST

    13th Amendment?

    by catlettuce4

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 6:01 a.m. CST

    Speilberg is 65 not 70

    by catlettuce4

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 6:16 a.m. CST

    mjayace -- well said!

    by Michael Morning

    While I hate both parties due to their polarized, unconstitutional stranglehold over politics and political thought in this country, liberals have created some truly awful law. Entitlements are just that, they breed a cultural sense of entitlement...the "man" isn't giving me what's mine, so I'll take it by force using government.</p> <p> This happens with corporations, too. They become addicted to easy credit, subsidies, tax breaks, etc. and never, ever work themselves out from under the need. Foreign aid works the same way. We give billions to everyone from Caribbean islands to Israel, and they keep taking and taking and taking, never willing to just stop taking!

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 6:24 a.m. CST

    Nordling doesn't know history, it seems

    by Michael Morning

    I hope this movie doesn't glorify Lincoln. The man was scum. Nordling completely got it wrong about things being better after the war. Absolutely untrue. Not only was the war NOT about slavery, it was completely and utterly unconstitutional. </p> <p> By constitution, every state has the right to secede from the union. Period, end of story. Lincoln wouldn't allow the south to secede because they made up 75% of GDP. Read the book "The South was Right". In it, they specifically quote Lincoln as saying they couldn't allow the south to secede because then who would pay for government. Slavery was merely political spin to make the war palatable (not so unlike how things are done today).</p> <p> Over 600,000 died during the Civil War all so that government could keep on keeping on. It also absolutely destroyed states rights, which is why today the laws created by the federal government take precedence over state law - entirely against the constitution and the intent of the founders.

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 6:34 a.m. CST

    Spielberg

    by Michael Gunn

    Is a directing God, yes he doesn't make the fun movies he used to. I'm ok with that he's 30 years older people. You are going to be a different person 30 years older. Also can we enjoy the movie without all this political B.S. It's a movie that's all that is.

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 6:45 a.m. CST

    Spielberg: Good, but not that good.

    by SigourneyWeavers3Dbeaver

    He's a great director, but almost everything seems to come-off feeling a little half-baked. I blame his unshakable optimism. Also, he hasn't been able to satisfactorily finish a story since the 90s (see AI, Minority Report, etc). He deserves alot of credit, but he's hardly in the same league as an artist like Lynch or Kubrick, and he knows it.

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 6:58 a.m. CST

    People still think the Civil War wasn't about slavery?

    by Nerd Rage

    Somebody didn't read the "Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union" where the South lays out it's reasons for seceding from the Union. I don't know how the "state's rights" excuse gained momentum when the truth is laid out in widely available historical documents. Kinda scary.

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 6:58 a.m. CST

    Obama is the President

    by David Duchovny

    of the United States of America--clothed in immense power. So suck on it, you red state bitches. Conservatives were actually shocked and stunned yesterday that Obama won, even though it's been obvious for months that he had around an 80 percent chance of winning. If that doesn't tell you how separated from reality they are--then nothing will. Watching Fox News lose their goddamn minds when the race was called, was better entertainment than any movie made in the last 10 years.

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 7:02 a.m. CST

    What people say is that The Civil War wasn't JUST about slavery.

    by Smerdyakov

    Slavery was doomed by industrialization anyway. Why support slaves when you can just hire people at slave wages? Most slaves today are in the sex business.

  • Man, if J. EDGAR didn't the most fascinating historic personage and make the dullest possible movie about him, then I don't know what movie did. Well, maybe THE AVIATOR.

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 7:37 a.m. CST

    Day Lewis, awesome in something? Shocking.

    by BackwardGalaxy

    The guy is only one of the top 5 greatest living actors in the world.

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 7:57 a.m. CST

    Why the hell did he do NINE?

    by knowthyself

    I still don't get it.

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 8 a.m. CST

    "Intent" of the founders.

    by knowthyself

    I always find t his to be a curious thing to say. We should base the next thousand years on the intent of dead men? We assume they wouldn't change their opinons based on the shifting landscape of politics? This intent idea implies that people are rigid and never changing. It doesn't matter what they intended. Nations evolve. They didn't intend for a lot of things, certainly not a black president, and here we have one.

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 8:02 a.m. CST

    Why did he do NINE....Well

    by Samuel Fulmer

    Kate Hudson, Marion Cotillard, Nicole Kidman, and Penelope Cruz parading around in skimpy clothing...........just a fricken guess man!

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 8:02 a.m. CST

    Last great Spielberg film: Munich.

    by knowthyself

    The amount of restraint he displayed in that film surprised me. Very little shlock and weepy music. It's a shame that it's the exception and not the rule when it comes to Spielberg's work.

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 8:04 a.m. CST

    J. Edgar was hilarious

    by Samuel Fulmer

    The acting and script were so bad (and you know it wasn't meant to be intentional), it's destined to be a cult classic. The scene where Arnie Hammer in old man drag can't get out a word after his stroke and Leo Dicaprio in old man Jack Nicholson drag gets pissed at him is a laugh riot.

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 8:06 a.m. CST

    My problem with Warhorse was that it was too episodic

    by Samuel Fulmer

    Other than it being too long and the plot being all over the place, I thought it was preaty well done.

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 8:07 a.m. CST

    Hopefully...

    by pr0g2west

    This movie will put an end to the whiny Spielberg haters. He is the best film maker in history, the end.

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 8:14 a.m. CST

    bugeininpo...

    by dengreg31

    I hope this movie doesn't glorify Lincoln. The man was scum.

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 8:26 a.m. CST

    Does this one carry double-tomahawks and dispatch the undead?

    by obijuanmartinez

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 8:27 a.m. CST

    @knowthyself: Why not - Worked for organized religion...

    by obijuanmartinez

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 8:39 a.m. CST

    put him in star wars

    by animas

    if alec guiness did it, DDL can.

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 8:51 a.m. CST

    saw it in DC on Monday

    by LiquidHotMagma

    DDL's performance is so good that it you really forget that you're watching an actor pretending to be Lincoln. Tommy Lee Jones was also a standout, but benefited greatly by not having to share screentime with DDL. I would say the low point of the movie was the voting scene, Spielberg tried to make it an edge of your seat moment, but since we all know how it actually turned out it didn't make much sense to string it out. This is worth the price of admission solely for DDL and a portrayal of Lincoln unlike any you've ever scene.

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 8:53 a.m. CST

    Should have gotten Tom Cruise.

    by gruemanlives

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 8:55 a.m. CST

    But does he have a black sidekick like in vampire slayer?

    by UltraTron

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 9:02 a.m. CST

    I heard they changed the ending...

    by James Robinson

    ... Now when J.W.B. shoots him, confetti and sparklers erupt from his head and the play gets rave reviews... >_< just sayin!

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 9:12 a.m. CST

    Spielberg got too caught up in Hollywood factions. He used to be a citizen of the universe.

    by Fuck disney with a rusty chainsaw

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 9:27 a.m. CST

    Sounds like ...

    by berserkrl

    it sanitizes Lincoln's racism, and makes it seem as though ending slavery was more central to his war aims than it actually appears to have been.

  • Does Debra Winger provide the dubbed voice for Lincoln? Does Gregory Peck's Lincoln come in and challange Day-Lewis' Lincoln to a bare-knuckle shirtless fight to the death (after performing femoral intercourse on one another)? Is there an Oscar strategically placed into every frame similar to 'Where's Waldo'? Are there dinosaurs, aliens, and/or killer semi-trucks? Does Wilkes Booth yell, 'Fuck that hurt! Ow!' after jumping from the balcony? Is the famous 'Four score...' speech rapped? These are things that are needed in a Spielbergian Lincoln epic. I mean, Christ, there's 2-1/2 hours to fill!

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 9:38 a.m. CST

    Exactly

    by halfassedastronaut

    The ads make it seem self-important and I was kinda hoping for more of a "Weekend at Bernie's 2" feel. I hope these pompous dicks don't fuck it up.

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 9:44 a.m. CST

    Spoiler Alert#2: Slaves end up getting freed

    by Joe Cranford

    by Republicans. Just sayin'.

  • i've seen enough of that shit and i don't care

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 10:02 a.m. CST

    @ uberfreak...

    by Chris Moody

    Try it. Lol! If you tried to "slap me," I would beat the shit out of you. You are not only a dick but you throw a hissy fit too. So, go back to your "brave" excessive ranting behind the safety of your computer monitor. You are too petty of a gnat to concern myself with too much.

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 10:04 a.m. CST

    @ knowthyself:

    by Chris Moody

    Yes, Munich was fantastic.

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 10:15 a.m. CST

    Daniel Day-Lewis in Star Wars?

    by Chris Moody

    Not going to happen. Star Wars is where old stars (Alec Guinness, Cushing, etc...) go to be resuscitated and young unknowns go to be "discovered." Daniel Day-Lewis is neither. It is fun to dream though. But, unless that guy was a huge Star Wars fan, I just don't see it happening.

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 10:20 a.m. CST

    @ elsachmo...

    by Chris Moody

    Not really. The Democratic Party simply replaced slavery with "government dependency." My dad is in his late 50s, and he reminds me that we are worse off now as a community than before Democrats started giving us entitlement promises in exchange for our votes. The pony thing that has changed is the talking points.

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 10:22 a.m. CST

    Come to think of it...

    by Chris Moody

    Harrison Ford, Carrie Fischer, Mark Hamill do fit the "old stars who need resuscitation" criteria.

  • No, but seriously, shut the fuck up. The war was the tipping point in a decades-long, bloody interstate conflict over the right to own slaves. Period. Lincoln repeatedly in letters and in debates stated he thought the slave should be free and bear the same rights as white men. It's in the fucking DEBATES on a PLATFORM recorded for POSTERITY. And that's before you get into his PRIVATE LETTERS. The closest people can get is a single rhetorical backhand to Horace Greeley TWO YEARS INTO THE BLOODIEST WAR IN HISTORY. Before the war started, we got such interesting bon mots as... --There is no reason in the world why the negro is not entitled to all the natural rights enumerated in the Declaration of Independence - the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I hold that he is as much entitled to these as the white man.-- ~First Lincoln Douglass Debates, 1858 And... --Slavery and oppression must cease, or American liberty must perish.-- ~Speech, 1842 And... --The one victory we can ever call complete will be that one which proclaims that there is not a slave on the face of God's green earth.-- ~Letter to George Picket, 1842 And... --If the negro is a man, why then my ancient faith teaches me that 'all men are created equal' and that there can be no moral right in connection with one man's making a slave of another.-- ~Speech, IL, 1854 The Southern apologist revisionist history is endearing because it helps racists feel less bad for being racists. Lincoln was being a smartass and since their love of the Colbert report proves that conservatives and Southern whites completely lack the ability to comprehend sarcasm (read the entire response), they think Lincoln didn't give a shit about black people... WRONG! He was a fucking abolitionist his entire life. His parents LEFT THEIR CHURCH because they didn't care enough about abolition.

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 10:55 a.m. CST

    he would make a good Sith Lord Marka Ragnos

    by animas

    the greatest Sith who ever lived. It is time to have the planet Korriban in the movies also.

  • The reason why the republicans turned conservative has to do woith the deluge from the "dixiecrats", dissidents from the democratic party, (once the conservative party) who unhapy with the turn their party was taking, fled to the republican. Thus started the changes on both parties. they pratically swapped stanses. 100 years ago if you told anybody that the republican party was the conservative, they would look at you as if you were fucking mad.

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 11:19 a.m. CST

    baked

    by Nordling

    Thank you. I've been reading that particular stack of horseshit for years. People of bugeininpo's ilk are backwoods rednecks lost in the woods, hoping vainly to find another Ned Beatty to rape.

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 11:25 a.m. CST

    Re: Joseph Gordon Levitt

    by pendy16

    I saw the movie a couple of weeks ago and loved it. I did, however, feel that the Joseph Gordon Levitt scenes were completely extraneous. I'm wondering if they've cut some of that part of the film out since I watched it. Any thoughts, Nordling?

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 11:32 a.m. CST

    pendy16

    by Nordling

    I did think those scenes were the weakest part of the movie - not terrible, and not a dealbreaker by any means, but pretty melodramatic and unnecessary. But they don't take up much time in the movie. I did like the reveal of the limbs, though, even though it's pretty obvious. Day-Lewis carries through those scenes with his customary amazing skills.

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 11:49 a.m. CST

    Hope John Williams finally wins another Oscar

    by Samuel Fulmer

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 12:15 p.m. CST

    Joseph G Levitt

    by nationalhill

    Has Joseph G Levitt become what Speilberg hoped Shia Labeuf was going to be? A talented, hard working and excellent actor instead of a self important, bratty loudmouth. Levitt lets the work speak for itself instead of shooting off at the mouth and throwing his collaborators under the bus.

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 12:24 p.m. CST

    My greatest fear for this movie is the score.

    by albert comin

    If they go for another one of those melodramatic big americana moment crap, i'll turn off. It's such a deal breaker for me because i resent such cheap emotional manipulations. If, on the congrary, they will opt for a more subtle type of music, then appaluses would be in order.

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 12:29 p.m. CST

    Oh, well. So much for Ben Affleck winning an Oscar.

    by SergeantStedenko

    If this is as good as everyone is saying, there's no way it don't take home the Best Pic statue.

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 12:29 p.m. CST

    Waiting for a You Tube mash up of America, Fuck Yeah, and this movie.

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 12:34 p.m. CST

    scirocco

    by Nordling

    It's pretty subdued. There are no rousing moments of music, except perhaps at the end.

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 12:35 p.m. CST

    @Mr knowthyself

    by albert comin

    I completly agree with you about "Munich". It is a great movie and one of Spielberg's best. And for a while i though it would herald a new turn in Spielberg's career. It was as if i was seeing Spielberg anew. I couldn't wait to see more movies from him made like that. But then he had to make the fucking Crystal Skull movie. And the creepy dead eyes CGI zombies movie TinTin. And the utterly exacrable horse movie! Fuck's sakes! Where is the Spielberg of Munich? Who killed him and replaced him with this bad pod version?

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 12:37 p.m. CST

    Lincoln - Corporatist and war criminal

    by Anal Inflictor

    This will be a good movie but please don't drink the kool-aid, people. The civil war was not fought to end slavery; slavery went on for years in the south and north but it was only when the south decided to cecede, sell its products elsewhere, and most importantly STOP PAYING MOST OF THE TAXES IN THE US that Lincoln, at the beckoning of his corporate masters, started a total war against the south. While slaves rebuilt the White House, Lincoln gave us jailing of dissidents, suspension of habeous corpus, shutting down newspapers, threatening a supreme court chief justice with prison, and total war against a civilian population with all the murder, rape, and pillaging Sherman's troops could handle. Lincoln also brought us the income tax, central banking, and the dawn of big government. Don't believe me? Do some reading outside of your high school textbook. So, I will likely watch this movie on DVD, but otherwise fuck you Spielberg, fuck you Doris Kearns Goodwin, fuck you Nordling for this propaganda piece, fuck you William Seward, and a special fuck you to Abe Lincoln, your corporate puppet psychopath. P.S. We live in a republic not a democracy. Idiots. Go read the Constitution before Obama and the Congress finish burning it.

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 12:39 p.m. CST

    @Mr nordling

    by albert comin

    Thanks for the info, much apreciated. And let me praise your review. It's very good. Very good job. I used to be quite critical of your reviews in the past, but you have been taking me to school lately, with this and your wonderful Skyfall review (by the way,i also had the oportuity to watch Skyfall, and everythign you said in your review is spot on). Suddentlym out of the blue, you mature two decades as a reviewer and become my favorite and most sought after reviewer toghether with Ambush Bug. And considring how much respect i have for Ambush Bug, this is really a high compliment i'm giving you, good sir. Damn good job, man. Keep it up. Keep them coming. P.S.: The ending. Ahah, yes, well, Spielberg and endings. You can understand my reservations, can't you?

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 12:41 p.m. CST

    Bashing of Munich???? Madness!!

    by albert comin

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 12:43 p.m. CST

    @Mr anal inflictor, your latest post truly reflects your nick.

    by albert comin

    Reading through it was as quite a pain in the ass.

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 12:52 p.m. CST

    Having this open against Bond does not bode well.

    by SergeantStedenko

    Both Bond and Lincoln appeal to the oldheads, but oldheads don't see many movies, so which will they choose? My guess is Bond. Especially after the election. Although, angry white male Republicans may want to see something to make themselves feel good about their party. Of course, a movie about freeing the slaves my not be what they want to see right now. Still going with Bond.

  • Sometimes I feel like he could punch you in the face and you'd still call it sunshine.

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 12:55 p.m. CST

    Ah, the glories of being insulted by racist dipshits.

    by Nordling

    It's a little bit like Homoer Simpson when he once said... "It's pronounced nu-cu-lar."

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 12:56 p.m. CST

    Re: Joseph Gordon Levitt

    by pendy16

    Completely agreed, Nordling. He did a wonderful job in a role that seemed a bit shoved into the story. It needed either more screentime or less. I was more fascinated by the scenes of Lincoln and his youngest son... some of the best scenes in the film.

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 12:58 p.m. CST

    spewbacca

    by Nordling

    And that's fair. I saw LINCOLN twice, and I stand by my review. but that's fair.

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 1:03 p.m. CST

    We should be happy that we have such a coice of great movies.

    by Nordling

    Not only SKYFALL, LINCOLN, and WRECK-IT RALPH, we have ARGO, CLOUD ATLAS 9fuck yall, I love it) and others. Can't lose.

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 1:20 p.m. CST

    Misleading Ad Campaigns

    by oonagimaki

    EVERY Spielberg movie to date has had ad campaigns that looked conventionally 'been there, seen that' UNTIL you see the movie. That's his gift and he makes DAMN sure that the ads don't give the true heart of his films away.

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 1:37 p.m. CST

    Thanks for the input, Nordling...

    by Chris Moody

    BTW, this is one of your best reviews. I am now looking forward to this film even more.

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 1:46 p.m. CST

    Lincoln had a rought married life....

    by Dan

    He and Mary lost two boys; Mary would lose her second oldest, Willie at age 18 after Abe was killed....a total of three boys....only Robert lived to an old man, died in 1927. No wonder she went mad. She had already lost an infant when they moved into the White House... poor, poor woman.

  • Cuz it goes wider the next weekend. Still, the flick looks like a bit of a bore. Also I'm not American so US patriotism flies right over my head.

  • Let's face it, with all the hype and marketing that Bond has been getting of late with Skyfall and the 50th Anniversary, I don't see how Lincoln can compete and not get lost among all the other strong releases. I think it was a mistake to release it the same week as Bond. I hope I'm wrong.

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 1:57 p.m. CST

    When are we getting that epic Zachary Taylor/Millard Fillmore flick?

    by Bedknobs and Boomsticks

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 2:52 p.m. CST

    Wow, more rosed-color lenses

    by christpunchers2007

    I hate movies that ties itself into politics. They're just so biased most of the time. Nothing but propaganda. In times like these, audience need to know truth. They need to be given material that pushes them to think about history and how that history led to our current situation. We don't need the same patriotic junk over and over again.

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 3:35 p.m. CST

    @ uberfreak:

    by Chris Moody

    Are you trying to be funny? Witty? Or are you just pretending to be such an annoying prick and total asshole. I mean -- no one can be as stupid as you present yourself to be, right? As a black man, I find your claims of racism and "analysis" of Republicans and Conservatives to be full of shit and highly, well, racially motivated. Now, go pick up your welfare check and take your Obamacare bipolar meds while the rest of us go back to work to support you.

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 4:01 p.m. CST

    The War Porn Horse: Oscarbaition at its finest

    by animatronicmojo

    And the Award for Best Actor goes to... Daniel Day-Lewis for his portrayal of Animatronic Disneyland Lincoln!

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 7:49 p.m. CST

    @ uberfuck...

    by Chris Moody

    Come say this to my face. I will show you my big black fist, you worthless liberal shrill. I pointed out my race because YOU are the asshole that always brings up race. You are a stupid idiot who understands nothing about politics, policy or administration except what you get spoon fed by David Axelrod or whoever's dick you happen to be sucking. Get a life, you ignorant muthafucker. Better yet: Get an education. That way, you won't annoy as many people with your non-facts and idiotic stereotypes.

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 8:20 p.m. CST

    Lincoln was not an abolitionist

    by berserkrl

    Yes, Lincoln was against slavery. But he favoured gradual emancipation, possibly even phasing it out over the course of a century. (Which in a sense is what ended up happening, if we count Jim Crow as an attenuated form of slavery.) And he didn't, at least initially, favour equal civil rights post-emancipation. Moreover, he said quite clearly, both privately and publicly, that although he hoped the war might end slavery, he was willing to throw the cause of emancipation under the bus if that were the price of holding the Union together. An abolitionist was someone with a PRINCIPLED commitment to IMMEDIATE abolition; Lincoln was not that, and never pretended to be that. I'm glad that circumstances ended up being such that he found it possible to indulge his antislavery sentiments, but that was really just luck. As for the question of whether the war was about slavery -- we need to ask: for whom? There are different groups to consider. I think that for the Confederate leadership, protecting slavery was absolutely central to their aim; the revisionist pro-Confederacy story just can;t stand up to the documentary evidence here. But for the Union leadership, eradicating slavery was peripheral to their aim; their goal was to hold the Union together, and just too bad if that meant giving up on emancipation. So the Union and the Confederacy EACH had highly unsavoury motives. (To be sure, for many ordinary citizens on both sides the motivations were in many cases nobler.) For evidence of my claims, see Jeff Hummel's book _Emancipating Slaves, Enslaving Free Men_, which is strongly anti-Union AND anti-Confederate.

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 9:06 p.m. CST

    chrisssismmmmm, that dude is not even worth your time.

    by MJAYACE

    I believe you are a black guy and YOU get it. If I was a black guy, I would be utterly insulted at a party/gov't that constantly tells me that I can't do it, that I need a hand out, instead of a hand up, to succeed. When I was in service, I served alongside blacks, asians, whites and hispanics, and you know what, most were conservatives and nobody gave a flipping shit what color you were as you were judged by your character, and by your deeds. The one time I faced discrimination was by a bunch of douche bag white liberal college kids who screamed "baby killer" and threw shit at me. This was in the 90s, in uniform but I hadn't even served anywhere yet! Ha!

  • Nov. 9, 2012, 4:05 p.m. CST

    ccchhhrrriiisssmredux AKA Allen West, OK tough guy. BWAHAHA!

    by uberfreak