Can’t say “first look” because we’ve already seen leaked set pics, but EW has the first official look at Daniel Day-Lewis in costume and in character as Abraham Lincoln.

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  • Andrew

    That’s eerie.

  • Max

    BOOM. An Oscar win for sure.

  • Proman

    Instantly human. Brilliant.

  • panopticon

    I emancipate your slaves! I EMANCIPATE THEM ALL! I am the sixteenth President! I am who the people have chosen!!

  • Ryan Adams

    You know, the amazing thing — that’s not heavy with prosthetics. That’s DDL’s real ear, his real nose. The bridge of Lincoln’s nose was straight as an arrow-head.

    For me, that makes the impersonation all the more impressive. This isn’t a make-up performance. It’s a performance of body language, expression and demeanor.

  • To know that he’ll be directed by Spielberg depresses me.

  • moviewatcher

    You know what I think? This will be one of those truly great movies that simply couldn’t live up to the hype. I pray it isn’t, but…

  • Paolo

    WOW – could definitely see him being the first man to win a 3rd Best Actor Oscar for this.

  • julian the emperor

    If this film had been done by someone like PTA I would be incredibly excited by now. But Spielberg? I just don’t think he has it in him to produce anything sparkling at this point and with the conviction or clarity (or ambiguity) to elevate this kind of material. But I would be happy to be proven wrong. My respect for both SS and DDL is immense. But I also think my skepticism with regards to SS as of now is very well-grounded.

  • Stephen Holt


  • Tory Smith

    WOW!!! Nothing else needs to be said. Just WOW!

  • Jordan

    My God, just give him the Oscar now.

  • VVS

    the half closed eyes is the biggest detail that really makes it look like Lincoln for me.

  • lazarus

    Looks like this picture takes place right before the assassination. SPOILERS!

  • steve50

    “To know that he’ll be directed by Spielberg depresses me.”

    ditto. Lookin’ good, though.

  • Jeremy09

    Like Ryan said, the really impressive thing is that totally looks like DDL and his facial features/structure, but it’s also TOTALLY Lincoln. I don’t think it would have been quite the same with the oft-rumored Liam Neeson in the role.

  • Stephanie

    This just took my breath away. As a history lover, I am so looking forward to this. DD-L = perfection.

  • JP

    I don’t know why people here hate Spielberg so much. The day any of those (great) directors make a historical film in the level of Schindler’s List… and this film was highly highly anticipated. And NO… despite I’m a fan of PTA, Nolan, David Fincher… none has ever made a better film than Schindler’s List. And it delivered. I think he deserves, at least, respect.

  • Proman

    Steve50, maybe you should realize that he’s already directed by Spielberg and just get over it? I know, I *know* that means Day Lewis has officially peaked and will never be directred by anyone better but take some solace in knowing that he may work with Spielberg again (heck, they did go to that Spreengsteen concert together). It may happen yet.

    But hey, I hear there’s a new Ron Howard on the horizon so maybe that’s more your speed.

    “I just don’t think he has it in him to produce anything sparkling at this point and with the conviction or clarity (or ambiguity) to elevate this kind of material.”

    Yeah, I sort of get the feeling that you don’t even know what you want. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be making these types of comments. There is no filmmaker with greater unwavering clarity (moral or otherwise) than Spielberg. And that doesn’t come at the expense of depth. It comes through in all of his works in one way or another. I could build this whole argument around “The Terminal”, for instance, which is astonishingly brilliant (take that from an immigrant).

    There is no doubt in my mind that Day Lewis is lucky to have Spielberg offer to work with him. And not the other way around. Or that most of the negative comments come from his astonishing range surpassing the range of his viewers. That and jealousy, no one’s been that conistently A-List for so long. Look around you. People are paying attention.

    All filmmakers get ragged on around here. It’s normal. At least with Spielberg it originates from a good place.

  • Even Spielberg’s worst films are peppered with moments of brilliance. His best films constitute moment after moment of brilliance. Whom are we to doubt him with material like this?

    I can’t think of a valid argument against declaring Daniel Day-Lewis the best living actor in the film industry.

  • Looks nothing like him. I hope they don’t connect this one to a shooting.

    Oh wait.

    btw, Steven Spielberg is a great director. Anyone who says otherwise is full of haterade and probably herpes.

  • Question Mark

    In the last decade, Spielberg has made Catch Me If You Can, Minority Report and Tintin…three excellent movies, not to mention Terminal (which I haven’t seen), War of the Worlds (which was okay) and Munich (which I personally didn’t like but others acclaimed it). I think this track record is enough to prove that even ‘lesser Spielberg’ is still a tremendous filmmaker, so we can excuse the odd War Horse or Indy 4.

  • Ryan Adams

    I don’t even blame Spielberg for Indy 4. It was extruded from the George Lucas Play-Doh Fun Factory.

  • bodjo

    Well if War Horse got nominated than biopic about America’s favorite president can only win. I just don’t understand why Spielberg so obviously wants to win Oscars again. Don’t hate me for having said that, but I can’t stand any more biopics and I prefer Spielberg’s SF movies to all of his serious stuff. Please Mr Spielberg do something fun and beautiful (like ET or Indiana Jones)for newer generations.I do like and respect Spielberg and defend him when snobs attack, and I also like Day-Lewis (not to mention Lincoln) but I’m disappointed in all upcoming movies.I’m just not looking forward to any of them (though trailer for The Master looks promising) and I hope that Oscar will go to something nobody’s talking about at this point.

  • Aaron B

    Bodjo, he just did that with Tintin, and I thought it was a lot of fun. Despite what you think of it, I also doubt he was really thinking Oscar when he made Indy IV.

  • Mel

    Wow. All it takes is one picture to know it. That’s your Best Actor statue holder right there. It’s gonna be sentimental, predictable, pandering with an out of control score and America is going to love the shit out of it. Probably best pic too. Abraham Lincoln is one of the few things we can still truly think we are proud of from an awful time in our history, even though his story has been whitewashed.

  • Minas

    @JP, @Antoinette and @Paddy M: Agree 100% with your comments about Spielberg. Plus, i think that Munich was an exceptional movie, but that’s me.

  • mecid

    Yeahhhhhh!!!!!! I am waiting for this nearly 1 year. Now I can not wait for trailer. Hope it will be good. Smells like Oscar!

  • rufussondheim

    Oh for fuck’s sake I had a long response typed out complete with links that I lost because I had a typo in my e-mail address. Can we please fix this? I would be so grateful.

    Anyway I am going to try to reproduce it even though I am running out of time.


    Steve50, you are clearly an idiot, you not comprehending the greatness that is Spielberg. You, too julian. The two of you should just go back to your Twilight movies.

    There is no filmmaker with greater unwavering clarity (moral or otherwise) than Spielberg. And that doesn’t come at the expense of depth.

    Sometimes you just can’t argue with people when they are not as smart or express a great amount of ignorance. How do you explain to somebody that Schindler’s List is one of the most shallow depictions of the Holocaust I’ve come across?

    Schindler’s List, when you strip away all of its technical virtuosity really comes down to two aspects.

    1) It’s scene after scene of torture porn.

    2) The main character is one-dimensional. Yes he undergoes a shift midway when his motives change (from making money to saving lives) but there’s really no explanation as to why he makes this shift and none of the Germans around him do. Speilberg reduces what must have been a complex and courageous man into a simplified hero.

    The film is really a superficial look at the Holocaust, there is no explanation as to how it could have happened and there’s virtually no discussion on how it affected the people involved. For three hours of film, there should be far more than what’s there.

    But again, how do you explain this to somebody who clearly does not have a background on the rich artistic legacy of the Holocaust?

    I recently came across the work of Nathan Englander, a widely praised short story writer. I’ve only read one of his short stories and it threw me for quite a loop. I hope people here take the time to explore his work and, then maybe you can understand where I am coming from with regards to Schindler’s List.

    For ease of exploration, I provided you with a link to “Free Fruit for Widows” by Nathan Englander

  • Joe W

    I always find Spielberg films (even lesser entries) to be some of the most visually captivating of the year. Very few can compose images and move the camera as well as he can. I thought War Horse was the most visually stunning movie of his career – and the scene where Joey runs through No Man’s Land with a trail of barbed wire is absolutely brilliant. Also never mind the fact that how much of a well-oiled machine his productions are – never goes over-budget, over-schedule, and crews always go home in time for dinner. Minority Report, Catch Me If You Can, and Munich are some of my favorite Spielberg films. I think he’s just a victim of constant unrealistically high expectations (something Christopher Nolan has now become accustomed to unfortunately). Really excited for this and can’t wait for Robopocalypse!

  • lazarus

    Rufussondheim, you’re so forgetting that fabricated and phony breakdown scene at the end, tailor-made tears from an audience that is likely already emotionally drained by the subject matter.

    And then there’s that reprehensible shower fake-out.

    As you said, a technically very well-made film, but so flawed. And the apologists are blinded by the subject matter.

  • Jordan

    People who are saying Spielberg is trying to make films just to win Oscars are completely ludicrous. The guy has enough Oscars. He could honestly care less. He just makes films that interest him. Geez people, lay off.

  • Please tell me its REAL Lincoln …. DDL seems more Lincoln than real Lincoln and that is creepy.

    Well from that very first leaked pic when he was in cafe, pretty much everyone knew he was going to be a force to reckon with. Can’t say much or anything about the movie, Spielberg disappointed me last year but on the acting front i know Lincoln is going to be great.

  • rufussondheim

    lazarus, I am not forgetting that scene or the “fake-out” I could go on at length at why I dislike the film.

    I once loved the film, I thought it was brilliant. I went back to it again and then a third time. It inspired me to learn and to read and, most importantly to explore my own family history. I know my father was conceived in Latvia in June of 1940. I know the Russians invaded Latvia a month later. I know my grandfather was captured by the Russians in 1940 and later died in a Soviet Gulag in 1942. I know my unborn father’s eldest sisters and pregnant mother spent weeks in the woods hoping to escape the same fate. I know the Germans swept through Latvia I know my grandmother moved her three children to Nazi Germany to protect her children. I know that after the war they emigrated to the US. I know in 1949 my grandmother’s children came home from school to discover their mother had hung herself in the kitchen. I know my father’s oldest sister committed suicide close to forty years later. I know that there is much more that I don’t know.

    I know the power of Schindler’s List, but I also know how extraordinarily shallow it is.

  • tipsy

    He looks like Abe so what? I`m sick of “game over, DDL wins his third,blah,blah” attitude. In the year with much more interesting roles than yet another biopic, I`m sure AMPAS can give us some surprises. Like Phoenix in The Master, Jackman in Les Mis, Foxx in Djnago or whoever is pushed for the elad in that movie if anyone or Martin Freeman in the Hobbit who may not win for the first one but the character gets big scenes in the book which I`m sure will be in the movies, so maybe a win for the third?

    I`d give Oscar to RDJ for Tony Stark/IM every day, BTW.

  • rufussondheim

    It took 29 years for Meryl Streep to get a third Oscar. I suspect Daniel Day Lewis will have to wait longer than 5 to get his third. Never mind the fact that DDL is not even a household name in the US and few filmgoers can probably name even one movie he’s been in.

    My early money is no Hugh Jackman. He’s not been Oscar Bait in the past, but he is, pretty much an A-List star that’s been doing solid work for many years. But the real revelation will be “Oh My God, he can sing!”

    I think it’s going to be a Les Miz Sweep.

  • julian the emperor

    Proman: Sure, The Terminal is just utter genius. What was I thinking? The Terminal attests to the undying brilliance of his work. I was so wrong. Spielberg is king. He knows everything worth knowing about terminals and you, as an immigrant, knows that he knows.

    (Wow. Talk about a convincing argument.)

    Btw, I don’t think I bashed him. I LOVE Jaws and I love ET and I love Close Encounter, all that tremendous old stuff. Even Schindler I kind of still like (for its sheer magnitude and virtuosity and seriousness), even though I had more or less the same feeling as Rufus when I revisited the film two years ago.

    One last thing: Nathan Englander is just such a great writer, of short stories, that is. He is one of the very best. His novel failed to impress me, though.
    Also, for anyone, with more than a passing interest in the Holocaust as family history (I would guess you have already read this one, Rufus?), try out Daniel Mendelsohn’s The Lost, a quite magnificent read.

  • bodjo

    @ Aaron B.
    I totally forgot about Tintin.I have no idea how could I cause I loved it. I didn’t mean to say all of his movies are made for Oscar and I don’t think that it’s necessarily a bad thing (i like some Oscar movies and I’m sure that if there wasn’t for Oscar some great movies would never have been made). I’m just sick of biopics and I’m sorry to see that Spielberg, with his wonderful imagination, makes them.

  • I think it’s between DDL and Joaquin Phoenix for Best Actor. (He said, having seen neither film.)

  • Jerry


    Lining up right now to buy my tickets.

  • Alex

    “But again, how do you explain this to somebody who clearly does not have a background on the rich artistic legacy of the Holocaust?”

    I’m SO sorry that we’re all so much lesser than you are in this regard. I don’t think Spielberg went out to explore the “rich artistic legacy” of the Holocaust, or to explain why or how it could have happened. The film does show what happened, though, even if it couldn’t capture EVERY SINGLE MOMENT of an event that spanned six years and an entire continent.
    I get it – you don’t like the movie. But the hatred with which you’re condemning it is a little childish to me. I don’t understand entirely how your family history entitles you to this sort of snobbery, either. I’ve had relatives I’ve never met die in pretty horrible situations as well years before I was born.

    I just really hate it when people like you resort to name calling because they’re too high up on their pedestal to realize that their shit stinks just like everyone else’s. Just because we haven’t all reached the artistic epiphanies you have regarding film doesn’t mean that you have to call others idiots for liking a certain film director’s work. I’d have to call you out even if you called somebody who loved the Twilight movies an idiot.

  • julian the emperor

    Look, if DDL delivers, let him walk away with that third statuette (why not, Meryl got hers). And he will probably deliver, but at what cost? That’s the question. I just happen to think that someone else than Spielberg could have lend this movie a more interesting frame. But, I might be wrong. I would be happy to be wrong. I actually prefer good movies from bad movies, you know.

    But DDL has to be REALLY on fire (and the film has to be better than most of the recent Spielberg stuff) to topple Joaquin. That’s my gut feeling, anyway. But who can tell?

  • steve50

    Holy apeshit – all I said was “ditto” to “depresses me” and you’d think I had taken a hammer to a sacred cow.

    I’m not a Spielberg hater, but I have not liked what he has done to some material in the past, and he has done it often enough to make me suspect that this will be more monument than Lincoln.

    Jaws, Close Encounters, Catch Me if You Can, Munich, even Jurassic Park — loved them. But the treacle in others (Color Purple, War Horse, Amistad, etc) globbed up the moments of brilliance for me. I just think that Lincoln deserves better, but I’m a foreigner, so what do I know?

    DDL will be brilliant, never a doubt.

    So, just to answer a few comments:

    “Steven Spielberg is a great director. Anyone who says otherwise is full of haterade and probably herpes.”

    Antoinette – yes he is…when he’s in his element. Never touch the haterade and all clear on the other count, but thanks for your concern.

    “I hear there’s a new Ron Howard on the horizon so maybe that’s more your speed.”

    Proman, knowing that I won’t sleep a wink tonite. Thanks.

    “Steve50, you are clearly an idiot, you not comprehending the greatness that is Spielberg. You, too julian. The two of you should just go back to your Twilight movies.”

    rufussondheim, et tu? I comprehend his abilities completely – hard not to when you can not only see what strings he’s pulling, but predict which will be pulled next. And I can’t speak for julian, but wild horses dragging me by the balls wouldn’t get me into a Twilight movie. What are you on?

  • Mattoc

    steve50 – Proman didn’t notice you were responding to a quote, and thought you wrote the whole thing. And then you got dragged into it.

  • julian the emperor

    I absolutely took Rufus’ rant for thick irony. If you read the rest of the post, Steve50, it doesn’t exactly exude a great love for everything connected to Spielberg, does it? (I was about to write SS for Steven Spielberg, but considering the content of Rufus’ post, that would strike a wrong chord..!).

    Either that, or Rufus is a bit schizophrenic at heart (which I don’t suspect since he has the good fortune of liking Nathan Englander) and I tend to agree with the guy (see also the thread on TDKR and its Oscar chances, for further proof for his ironic capabilities OR his rampant schizophrenia;)).

    And, no, nothing could make me go see a Twilight movie, to set the record perfectly clear. Teenage girls craving sex with dead dogs (or what is a werewolf, really?) is – strangely enough – beyond my grasp.

  • steve50

    OK – I’ll go with irony. Guess I was feeling a bit pummeled by the time I got to his comment. Maybe it was the herpes or Ron Howard fixation clouding my senses.

    (background strings begin) I should know better tread on everybody’s favorite uncle who gently escorted them through their childhood and teen years. Given – he’s a master at making one feel good and even better at making one glad to be sad. (insert John Williams crescendo here)

    ..but not for the man who ended slavery.

  • Bryce Forestieri

    Holy shit. 3rd Best Actor Oscar here we go!
    To me Schindler’s List, Saving Private Ryan, and Munich almost if not great
    Color Purple was pretty good
    War Horse and Amistad are the misses? right?
    That’s a pretty good track record. Can’t be comparing this to other Spielberg movies. As I said if Lincoln is Munich good it’ll be unstoppable. My assumption is

    Great Spielberg + Brilliant script by Kushner & co. + DDL + LINCOLN = Sweep of the big categories

    Maybe even some love in the form of nods for Sally Field? Tommy Lee Jones…pretty please? <3

    A lot of givens I realized but if all true no matter how good Le Mis is Lincoln is it…

  • AnthonyP

    Whoa whoa whoa! One perfectly posed picture does not a great movie make.
    As Jeff and Sasha have said before, if Spielberg doesn’t get over emotional with his directing, this will be an Oscar contender. Otherwise, standby….

  • cyrus

    This picture reminds me of another hyped movie and performance but sadly nothing came of it….remember J.EDGAR anyone?

  • Manuel

    I will always love DDL as much as I love Cate Blanchett and Tilda Swinton

  • JP


    I’m not saying Lincoln will be a masterpiece, will win all Academy Awards possible, etc. It could actually not be good. But there’s a main difference between this and J. Edgar. The main problem with J. Edgar is that it tried to deal with a long period of the life of J. Edgar Hoover. And films like that are usually flat. There are so many things to put there in just 2 1/2 hours. The film was very superficial: from the script to the make-up. Lincoln is “focusing in on the last four months of Abraham Lincoln’s life”, according to Spielberg in a recent interview.

  • Mattoc

    …and unlike J Edgar, them seem to have gone easier on the powder puff in this one.

  • Rufussondheim

    Sorry, Steve50, didn’t mean to confuse you. But I thought it funny that someone who wrote so eloquently about Robert Altman the other day would practically be accused of being a Philistine because he’s expressed doubts about Spielberg’s future works.

    Just to be clear here, I think Altman works at levels of complexity and depth that Spielberg dares not even touch.

  • rufussondheim

    The thrust of my comments, Alex, were directed at someone who said that Spielberg’s films have moral clarity without compromising depth.

    I was merely pointing out the absurdity of that statement.

  • Ryan Adams

    What Spielberg does, nobody can do better. Many try, many fail. (Lots of directors wish they could; a few would never want to.)

    But a movie like Nashville is as different from Jaws as Thanksgiving dinner is from a good orgasm. I wouldn’t want to give up any of those four pleasures. But the only thing an Altman movie has in common with Spielberg movie is they both come on a shiny silver platter.

    (as far as that goes, thanksgiving dinner and a good orgasm could come on shiny silver platters too.)

  • g

    I think this movie is going to be amaze balls! 1st we have an amazing actor playing the lead role and then we have really good source material. Team of Rivals is amazing! I’ m only on disc 15 but so far I love it!

  • My computer jumped earlier and it poated a comment with no message. So sorry. So here I go again.

    I JUMPED when I saw this picture! Yikes! It’s VERY strong. Powerful. It looks JUST LIKE LINCOLN or the way we’d like to think Lincoln would look.

    And all that’s been said about Spielberg ^ above is TRUE. But I can see the Tony Kushner script being Munich-esque, i.e. long and pretentious and ultimately boring…but DDL has everything you need just in that picture! ASTOUNDING! And he’s revered the way Spielberg is not.

    He could win Best Actor, but the picture, if it’s like “Munich” or “War Horse” will be nominated but it won’t win.

    He even SEEMS to be holding the Oscar in his hand! WHAT A PICTURE!

  • rufussondheim

    Count me in on not understanding the odd pairing of Kushner and Spielberg. They seem on the opposite ends of some artistic integrity triangle.

  • I truly believe that this will be the best pic, best actor, and best director Oscar winner. I don’t see how this can fail.

  • rufussondheim

    I can see many ways it will fail. But I guess that’s just me.

  • joker

    no pics of field yet?

  • chrisw

    Spielberg is fantastic. He has misses, as pretty much every director with a large filmography has, but his hits far outweigh them. I truly wish big-budget directors were more like him and Nolan.

    Just saw Amistad two nights ago. Pretty good film. It actually had a lot of subtle things going on in the background. Not as schmaltzy as I remembered. And I love Hook.

  • ChrisFlick

    Were DDL to win it would be the first actor directed to an Oscar by SS, no? Difficult to believe.

  • steve50

    ^ not really.

  • Tero Heikkinen

    Ralph Fiennes should’ve won, so IMO it IS difficult to believe. Tommy Lee Jones? Please.

  • Tero Heikkinen

    The last question mark should not be there.

    Tommy Lee Jones is one of the worst Supporting Actor winners – considering the nominees he was up against.

  • rufussondheim

    I recall back in 1993/4 that Tommy Lee Jones was considered a shoo-in for the win. I was shocked considering how strong Ralph Fiennes was in that role. I think Fiennes lost because that was the first time we’d really seen him so we had nothing to compare. Jones’s winning looked bad then, it looks even worse now.

  • SeattleMoviegoer

    success usually gets a guy knocked down after a while and Spielberg has had his share. but enough with the sour grapes, folks. he’s a national treasure. certainly some of his films fall short of amazing…but we’re used to “amazing” from him. for modern times, he’s in the league of the old masters, he and Scorsese. we movie lovers are so lucky to have him. i adored WAR HORSE. who else can evoke such emotion from a story, it’s audience in today’s cold moviemaking? he has the humanity of Capra and the technical genius of Kubrick. and prolific? the guy has an INCREDIBLE work ethic. think of the times he has had 2 impressive movies in the same year–1993 Jurassic Park and Schindler’s List; 1997 Lost World and Amistad; 2002 Minority Report and Catch Me if You Can; 2005 War of the Worlds and Munich; 2011 Tintin and War Horse. That’s a phenomenal record. He’s not even my favorite living director (Milos Forman–who is comparitively a lazy slacker). Yes, I love Spielberg and can’t wait for LINCOLN. I just hope he continues on and tackles some other genres; a musical, a biblical epic, a Hitchcock-like thriller, etc.

  • naruse

    DDL is making much more intersting films than Streep. His roles in Gangs of New York and TWBB are superior to anything Streep did since 82 (save maybe dingo).

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