I guess Americans are about to get a big shock to see that Spielberg isn’t the favorite to win the DGA on Saturday.  Everyone and their brother over at Gold Derby and elsewhere have Ben Affleck to win the DGA, continuing the Argo sweep to Driving Miss Daisy its way towards a Best Picture win. Nonetheless, we can pretend for a little while longer that Spielberg will still be rewarded for what is his crowning achievement on his most esteemed career.  From the opening shot of the back of Lincoln’s head, through to the hazy dreamscape of Lincoln’s foreshadowing his own death, to lovely, delicate shot of his slippers in a sliver of light through an opened door, to the deep focus scene of Lincoln and Mary, on through that great shot of Lincoln walking through the corridor of the White House, forgive me, but it’s a masterpiece – a visionary, cinematic treasure. Do people “like” it? Who knows. Who cares. Some things are more important that, right? After all, lots of people like Big Macs. Doesn’t make them the best hamburgers, just makes them popular. Reuters poll:

American filmmaker Steven Spielberg is clear favorite among the public to win the best director award for his film about President Abraham Lincoln at the Academy Awards this year, a Reuters poll showed on Wednesday.

While the race to win best film at the February 24 ceremony was shaken up by “Argo” stealing the thunder of “Lincoln” at two award ceremonies last weekend, the best director statuette was deemed destined for one man.

Spielberg, 66, who has been nominated seven times for best director at the Oscars and won twice – for the World War Two dramas “Schindler’s List” in 1993 and “Saving Private Ryan” in 1998 – was seen as far ahead in the all-male field of five.

A Reuters Ipsos poll of 1,641 Americans found 41 percent thought Spielberg should win and 38 percent said he was most likely to win for his U.S. Civil War-era drama in which British actor Daniel Day-Lewis plays Lincoln.

Almost half of the respondents to the survey conducted Friday through Tuesday were unsure who should or was most likely to be voted best director. The accuracy of the poll uses a statistical measure called a “credibility interval” and is precise to within 2.8 percentage points.

The online poll comes before the Directors Guild of America awards on Saturday in Los Angeles. Since 1948, there have been only six occasions where the winner of the DGA Award for Feature Film has not gone on to win the Oscar for best director.

But this year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, whose members choose Oscar winners, overlooked the directors of four of the year’s biggest movies – Ben Affleck (“Argo”), Kathryn Bigelow (“Zero Dark Thirty”), Quentin Tarantino (“Django Unchained”) and Tom Hopper (“Les Miserables”) – opening the possibility of a rare split in February in the best film and best director categories.

Ang Lee was ranked second, David O. Russell ranked third.

At the end of the day, you don’t work in the Oscar biz for 14 years and not know how this will play out. My good friend Tom O’Neil astutely catches that Argo isn’t like Apollo 13 for one very clear reason:

“Braveheart” pulled off a sneaky win because Oscar-watchers weren’t paying attention to what was showing up in academy members’ mailboxes. “Braveheart” was the first major Oscar contender ever to send out screeners to voters.

Nowadays, of course, all contenders send screeners. Academy members received more than 50 this year. So it’s an equal playing field that way.

Memo to Sasha: Yes, “Lincoln” can still win. I’m not discounting that. But it doesn’t have the same secret ambush advantage that “Braveheart” had.

Yeah, got that.  Braveheart not only won the Globe but it won the Eddie (which Argo will win) and it won the WGA (which, it shatters me to say, Argo will probably also win).  It isn’t so much Apollo 13 as it is Crash – it’s an actors movie that is really popular going up against a movie that was, as people always like to say before I secretly want to blow a raspberry, “respected but not loved.” Dude, I got that already.

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  • Zach

    I like that even more people want him to win than think he will win. But he’s always been the people’s director, so what else is new?

    Would have been more interesting if the poll was conducted including Affleck.

  • marlonbrando020

    “Apollo 13 not only won the Globe but it won the Eddie”

    Apollo 13 did NOT win any Golden Globes…

    Best Supporting Actor – Brad Pitt (Twelve Monkeys) won over SAG/BFCA winner Ed Harris (Apollo 13)
    Best Supporting Actress – Mira Sorvino (Mighty Aphrodite) won over Kathleen Quinlan (Apollo 13)
    Best Director – Mel Gibson (Braveheart) won over Ron Howard (Apollo 13)
    Best Movie, Drama – Sense and Sensibility (also won Best Screenplay) won over Apollo 13

  • Kurt

    Let’s face it, if you ask 40% of the general public to name one living director I wouldn’t be surprised if Steven Spielberg is the only one they know of.

  • Freddy Ardanza

    It’s very likely that most american only know the name of three movie directors: Scorsese, James Cameron and the most popular of all Steven Spielberg.

  • Danemychal

    Okay as huge a fan of Lincoln as I am (I want it to win badly), can we stop with the out and out comparisons of Argo to Crash? That’s just insane. Argo is a very good movie, Crash is NOT. Crash is one of the lamest BP winners of all-time, Argo would be in the top half of BP winners. If you’re calling it the next Crash, then Jeff Wells’ tactics are rubbing off on you a bit too much.

  • Victor Barreto

    Thank you for the person who reminded about the Golden Globes, for some reason I never checked that on IMDB, and was considering Apollo won just like Argo did.

    It’s important to remember that by that time, the globes were much more influential on the Oscars, and the results usually were the same on both awards.

  • kneeplay_

    “I guess Americans are about to get a big shock to see that Spielberg isn’t the favorite to win the DGA on Saturday.”

    I don’t think most people even know what the DGA is. Spielberg will likely win the Oscar, which is the only thing most people are really aware of.

  • Sasha Stone

    Sorry that’s a typo – supposed to be Braveheart.

  • Kate

    Whatever happens with all the awards yet to be announced, I feel confident that the masterpiece that is “Lincoln” will resound in many hearts for the ages as has its subject.

  • Paul Thomas Anderson

    Lincoln is the crowning achievement of his career? He has made far, far better films. Even ET is a better film that Lincoln. Lincoln was a mediocre film, I was truly rooting for John Wilkes Boothe by the time the film wrapped. Jurrasic Park, Schindler’s List, Munich. and Jaws are all way better Speilberg films, he brought nothing new to the table with this overpriced turd.

    DDL is an incredibly overrated actor, his performance pales in comparison to Joaquin Phoenix in The Master. I felt like I was watching Jim Carrey’s Scrooge.

  • David MacConnell

    [deleted – one more comment like that and you’re banned from the site]

  • Bryce Forestieri

    “Almost half of the respondents to the survey conducted Friday through Tuesday were unsure who should or was most likely to be voted best director”

    Goes to show how little the general population actually care about this.

    I can hear the respondents “wait what, Best what?” LOL

  • Henry Z.

    Ang Lee for the DGA? Oh that would really shake things up.

  • Kane

    As great as it is that people know who Spielberg is, this list doesn’t mean much other than Lincoln is more popular than the other nominated films with the 1,600 people spoken to. It would be truly remarkable if they all voted for Haneke or if they said that PTA or Ava DuVernay should’ve been nominated. The fact is that Lincoln made more money than most of the others, so more people were exposed to it. This sort of poll might help with the Peoples Choice Awards. However, it could also help with campaigning.

  • AB

    Wait. Is the Big Mac Argo or Lincoln? So confused.

  • Bryce Forestieri

    By the time Oscar voting begins LINCOLN will have surpassed ARGOS’s worldwide box office as well. Talk about which film has the audience stamp. (I know about Pi’s 500+M, but I’m assuming it’s Argo vs Lincoln)

    ————and as I said earlier————–

    Can anyone argue at this point that the changes in dates didn’t affect the outcome of nominations and shit? I just wonder if this extra-long “phase-II” window might surprise everyone again come Oscar night. Everyone has, and rightly so, switched to ARGO winning BEST PIC; the ARGO hype is at its highest at the moment, but final voting doesn’t begin for another 9 days. I just wonder if it’s indeed too late for LINCOLN or even LIFE OR PI and SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK to make a final surge. Every year things get more hectic and people forget stuff and change moods rapidly. Could everything still change unlikely as it may be? I think so. You can rest assured that by this point Affleck ha lobbied near every single academy member. He just said so that he doesn’t mind. He wants it bad. There is tho plenty of time for backslashes, and a couple of major moves by Harvey and the other campaigns. This is far from “the results are in”. Still I can’t argue ARGO’s chances. If the race for Best Picture is as CLOSE as nearly everyone thinks, the numbers just need to be a tad different, even with preferential balloting, for the outcome to be different. LINCOLN might not be as generally agreeable as ARGO but I’m sure it can still make plenty #2s and #3s in ballots of members who only liked it but didn’t love it. I’m, of course, counting on AMPAS membership’s slightly more high-minded nature than let’s say PGA’s. Anyways so much for theorizing. My point is there is time and more than usually for things to play out different from what the general consensus expects, as they have already with nominations.

  • Zach M.

    “Nonetheless, we can pretend for a little while longer that Spielberg will still be rewarded for what is his crowning achievement on his most esteemed career.”

    I nearly spat out my coffee on that one. I get that you love Lincoln, Sasha, I really do, but I honestly can’t think of any reason to hold the admittedly uneven (not to menti Lincoln in higher regard than Raiders of the Lost Ark, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Jaws, Schindler’s List, Jurassic Park, Saving Private Ryan, ET, Catch Me if You Can, and Minority Report.

  • Zach M.

    * (not to mention divisive)

  • Karl

    Lincoln doesn’t deserve win because it’s boring!

  • kasper

    I hold it in higher in regard than Raiders, Schindler’s List, Jurassic Park, Private Ryan, Catch Me, and MInority Report. I still think A.I. is one of the best American movies of the 2000s. Lincoln is easily in my top 5 Spielberg films for sure.

  • Sasha Stone

    Lincoln doesn’t deserve win because it’s boring!

    It’s only boring to boring people.

  • Sasha Stone

    Raiders of the Lost Ark, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Jaws, Schindler’s List,

    Jurassic Park, Saving Private Ryan, ET, Catch Me if You Can, and Minority Report.

    I have grown up with Spielberg. Literally. I watched him go from making adult movies to making movies for kids. To me, Lincoln is where he was trying to go with AI and Munich: he was reaching for something greater than his abilities and he succeeded with Lincoln. As much as I love Schindler’s List I have to say Lincoln is better. It doesn’t have that sappy moment at the end. It is deep on themes, stunningly, carefully, painstakingly directed. I’m sorry I just don’t have time for people who don’t see that. It crushes me actually.

  • Sasha Stone

    I was truly rooting for John Wilkes Boothe by the time the film wrapped.

    You’re an asshole.

  • Chris

    Sasha, I’m all for your love of Lincoln. I personally don’t see it as this amazing movie. It’s very textbook in its direction. You also know you’re watching a Spielberg film. That’s not what I want when watching a movie.

    Someone already said it and ill back them up. He has made far better films. And he didn’t win for them. My favorite, The Color Purple. Out of Africa was a bit overrated for me. Great, but overrated.

    Sadly, Lincoln won’t win anything besides DDL, screenplay and MAYBE supporting actor for Tommy. Yes all those nominations show support, but that doesn’t always lead to wins.

  • Zach M.

    Sasha, you argument is valid. Put simply, my own reasoning is that I just think Spielberg has done far better work.

    I’ve been somewhat shameless in saying that I think Spielberg has been ph

  • Sasha Stone

    Chris A) nothing you say will ever change what I know to be true and B) you’re wasting your precious time trying to convince me. And C) even if Lincoln doesn’t win, hell, especially if it doesn’t win, that won’t change the quality of the film.

  • AB

    Sasha, calm down. its just a movie.

  • Fabinho Flapp

    “Spielberg the Clear Favorite to Win best Director”

    Yes, it’s possible he wins.
    Just ’cause Affleck wasn’t nominated.
    But he’s movie won’t win.
    Anyway, I preffer Lee winning BD.

  • Alexander

    Bravo, Sasha. Lincoln is indeed, I imagine, boring to boring people.

    I was just saying this to some friends the last few days. Argo is the kind of film that won’t survive the backlash that will come should it win Best Picture. It’ll forever be seen as this ugly duckling bastard child that won because of Affleck sympathy and because of G.C. and B.A. campaigning for it and because Lincoln was seen as too… what, exactly, I don’t know. I suppose Lincoln was just too large and too rich a meal for some in Hollywood to truly appreciate and digest?

    Oh well. Two cheers for populism, as far as it goes in aiding our cause, haha. Though I’m sure that Spielberg, Scorsese, Cameron, Tarantino and Nolan are probably the short list of names the American public actually knows as directors of films they like to go see. But, no matter. Lincoln should win in any event.

  • Angela

    From Chris: “Someone already said it and ill back them up. He has made far better films. And he didn’t win for them. My favorite, The Color Purple. Out of Africa was a bit overrated for me. Great, but overrated.”

    Spielberg didn’t direct Out of Africa. That was Sydney Pollack. And I’d agree that OofA was a bit overrated, but it had great visuals and Meryl Streep.

    As for Lincoln, it’s easily in my top 5 of Spielberg’s movies: Raiders, Lincoln, Jaws, Close Encounters, and Jurassic Park. As much as I enjoyed The Color Purple and Schindler’s List, I still think Lincoln is a better film. And I love Alice Walker, love most of the actors in The Color Purple, and I’m an African-American woman. Even with minor missteps in Lincoln, it is, to me, one of his best and one of the best political/historical films of all time. I can’t think of a film that engaged me more on both an intellectual and emotional basis and I do believe it will loom tall over, for certain, Spielberg’s latter films.

  • Aragorn

    I wonder how many of those people had seen all 5 movies before they voted for directors. So, was their vote just for name recognition or quality of directing?
    There is a difference between People’s Choice awards and Oscars.

    I still hope for Spielberg win (and even Lincoln win for BP), but I wouldnt trust these so-called polls so much as I dont think they have much impact on how Academy members vote.

  • No, they have very little real impact, if any.

    Angela, Out of Africa beat The Colour Purple. I think that was what Chris meant.

  • Fabinho Flapp

    Of course, I’m talking about Oscar, not DGA.
    This is on Affleck’s hands, everybody knows.

  • Zach

    I’m all for Lincoln this year. But it’s not as great as Schindler’s List, E.T., Raiders, Close Encounters, Jaws, and The Color Purple (I anticipate people to disagree with me on TCP, but I still prefer that and Temple of Doom to Lincoln). To say otherwise is excessive and blasphemous and only going to cause more anti-Lincoln, anti-Spielberg backlash.

    The end of Schindler’s List is sappy? It’s a tribute to the precious millions of Jews who survived in light of the millions more who perished in the Holocaust. No more sappy, and certainly no less poignant, than Tommy Lee Jones’s last moment in Lincoln.

  • Zach M.

    Sasha, you argument is valid. Put simply, my own reasoning is that I just think Spielberg has done far better work.

    I’ve been somewhat shameless in saying that I think Spielberg has been phoning it in since 2002 (if you ask me, Catch Me if You Can and Minority Report are his last two truly “great” films). I saw Lincoln as a nice return to form for him after the completely forgettable War Horse and Tintin, as he clearly had passion for this story, and I also commended him for working outside of his comfort zone with a character/dialogue-driven feature that was low on classic Spielberg sentimentality (something that almost made me call War Horse an outright bad film). For the most part, it’s a compelling political procedural with some truly excellent performances (though I’m probably in the minority thinking that Jones outshines DDL, overall).

    That said, I also noticed some elements to it that I don’t think worked well, enough so that I couldn’t overlook them. The subplot with JGL’S truly went no where and added very little of importance to the overall story, and honestly, could have been cut entirely from the film without losing much of value. The ensemble was large and far-reaching, to the point where I said to myself “for a film titled Lincoln, it has surprisingly little to do with Lincoln himself.” What separates this film from another extraordinary dialogue-driven such as The Social Network is that there’s a greaterl human element with the lead; we feel like we understand the character of Mark Zuckerberg so that what happens takes on personal stakes with the audience as well as practical stakes. I felt that Lincoln might have benefitted from trying to get into the skin of its lead a bit more; we get a sense of the personality of Lincoln, but there’s also a kind f detachment from the character; the film sort of relied on telling the audience why Lincoln was so against slavery rather than showing us through character development. And perhaps the issue of why slavery is bad should be an obvious emotional response to the audience, and this could be a failing of mine, but I generally try to watch movies with an emotional detachment going in to them and instead observe the structure of them and determine if the overall construction of the movie is enough to evoke an emotional response from me.

    Also, and I’m recanting a common argument here, but there’s also the issue of the ending. I have no idea what could have compelled Spielberg to, after undoubtedly seeing the completed film in post-production, decide ending the film on the assassination/inauguration speech after watching the masterful, beautiful scene of him leaving the White House to go to the Ford Theater. In fact, if the film ha properly ended there, I’d probably speak more highly of it; with the ending as it is now, I think I like the film even less. One has to assume that the majority of the audience going to see Lincoln knows his eventual fate, or does Spielberg not trust the intelligence of his audience? (a strange, yet somewhat valid, question, given the very cerebral nature of the rest of the film before it). In fact, I don’t even think I would have minded the inauguration speech scene had we not had that ridiculous scene with the dead Lincoln, head bleeding out on the pillow, with his cabinet standing around him like a vigil or something. The scene borders on insulting, and serves to further alienate the audience from Lincoln: the man and continue to make him Lincoln: the idol, especially considering that the film portrayed Lincoln as a president who didn’t shy away from some under-the-table political dealings.

    I came away from Lincoln mostly satisfied, though I didn’t have the feeling that I had just seen something truly great as I did with The Social Network. At a couple of points, the film dragged a bit and felt its length, and while I can’t deny that it’s a film of remarkable ambition, it never quite reached the heights of what Spielberg has done before.

  • Sasha Stone

    Angela, Out of Africa beat The Colour Purple. I think that was what Chris meant.

    Worth noting: both Out of Africa and Braveheart entered the race with the most noms. Out of Africa did not win the WGA, the DGA or the Eddie.

  • Sasha Stone

    Sasha, calm down. its just a movie.

    It is never “just a movie.”

  • Sasha Stone

    Zach, I don’t mean this as an insult but I don’t mean it to sound like one – does it ever both you when you guys all seem to think exactly alike? I get this same argument over and over again by mostly young men. I am not sure why there is this constant sameness in critiquing both Spielberg’s work and the Lincoln ending. I don’t get it.

  • Zach

    Lincoln is a lot more relatable and likable than Zuckerberg.

  • Scott (the other one)

    As others may have said, this is one of those statistically meaningless polls because 99% of Americans have never heard of the other nominees.

    It’s like asking a bunch of Americans, what is the greatest movie ever made?:

    The Godfather
    Tokyo Story
    Jules and Jim

    What do you THINK is going to win???????

  • John Wilkes Booth

    Sasha, some might think you were receiving pay outs from the Speilberg camp? Really overrated film. A couple of pretty shots, and Daniel Day Lewis staring intensely does not maketh a film!

  • Zach M.

    @Zach: and yet, I still feel as though I understood Zuckerberg on a more personal level than I did with Lincoln.

    Sasha, maybe we just share the same opinion on the matter? If The film had been about Lincoln: the Man, then ending on the assassination might have felt more appropriate. But since the film is more about political procedure than anything, tacking it on at the end felt like a last-minute attempt to sway audience emotions for a more rousing finale.

  • Scott (the other one)

    Scott — I know you think Lincoln is a masterpiece, but I am wondering what you thought of the last ten minutes or so?


    (1) The assassination (this just seemed like a totally unnecessary afterthought, clumsily done, hastily told, and who doesn’t know already that Lincoln was shot??)

    (2) The cheesy recreation of the second inauguration and the image of the candle flame burning (Spielberg succesfully avoided his usual sentimentality and pomposity, and then he blew the whole mood with this final scene).

    Does your love of Lincoln include those scenes? Wouldn’t it have been been to end with the lovely shot of Lincoln, almost in silhouette, walking away from the camera in the White House? Wouldn’t that have been a perfect ending — the flawed, human, great man, on his own, engulfed by history as represented by the White House?

    I’m not in any way attacking your fondness for the film — just wondering whether you really liked those two final scenes?

  • keifer

    I didn’t like the movie “Lincoln”, but I can understand why people do like it.

    For me, it is simply kind of flat – I wasn’t vested in it emotionally at all. And I learned absolutely nothing new about Lincoln the man that I didn’t already know. It played out more like an American history lesson that you had to sit through.

    I’m not a boring person. I found THE FILM boring. I truly respected and loved the PBS special on Abraham and Mary Lincoln aired on television a few years ago. Now THAT was an insightful, wonderfully directed piece.

    I truly think had Daniel Day Lewis not been cast in the film, the film would have sank. He really made the film worth watching. And when he was on the screen, the movei did come alive. I just hated all the numerable scenes of constant arguing amongst Congressman . . . those scenes just went on and on and on. I wanted to shout “Get on with it already!”

    Ironically, I think “Lincoln” is the type of film that is clearly going to win the Oscar for Best Picture and Best Director. The vibe is “it’s Spielberg’s time” . . . and they could pick a worse(and have picked far worse) a movie to honor, let’s face it.

    On the other hand . . . Hollywood wouldn’t be Hollywood if it didn’t yearn and ache for the gorgeous its-a-photo-opportunity-not-to-be-missed Affleck-Clooney pairing on the Kodiak stage hugging each other and clutching and waving their Oscars above their heads . . . now could it?

  • Scott (the other one)

    Sorry for the typo — that question was meant for SASHA!!

  • Zach

    I’ve never heard anyone complain so much about a film ending as they have with Lincoln. When ROTK took a half hour to end after a bunch of cop-outs, everybody said something, but no one denied it Best Picture.

    Now I’m go to analyze the endings of the other Best Picture nominees to prove that they’re no more satisfying than Lincoln. SPOILERS:

    -Pi. What the fuck? Was it real or not? And is his wife supposed to be his girlfriend from earlier in the film? Good, good movie, but the ending is so complex and arguably a bit of a copout.

    -Silver Linings. Oh, didn’t see the 5.0 coming! Like I’m so impressed. Now there’s an Oscar for writing if I ever saw one. 😐 And as for their encounter in the randomly empty city streets, it was done better in When Harry Met Sally. The Apartment this ain’t.

    -Argo. Oh, my God. End it already. Ben, I respect the fact that you milked this story for all it’s worth, but really? The airplane may not take off in time? Really? And after that, the last scene with you seeing your son. Ah, what a smart touch. The sacrifices “heroes” make. And the Star Wars figurines, to suggest a discrepancy between movie heroes and real-life heroes who, what do you know, include a movie producer. Smart touch. Did you get that from Spielberg?

    Plus anything in Argo involving Affleck’s son felt tacked-in. It *worked*, but the actual story wasn’t that emotionally involving, just suspenseful, so I was never moved like I was in Lincoln. It’s amazing that people are calling Argo the more moving film.

    -Amour. Well, how poignant, disturbing, and depressing. But we all knew it wasn’t going to end well. I respect what they were going for here, but this is not a movie that should be winning an Oscar for its writing.

    -Django. You killed off Christoph Waltz, then you realized your mistake, so you have a flashback with him and then have Jamie Foxx blow everyone away and ride off into the sunset with Kerry Washington. Sorry, you lost the film’s goodwill once you killed off Christoph. The ending was excessive and couldn’t come soon enough.

    -Les Mis. Talk about an ending that couldn’t come soon enough! The movie almost died with Fantine. Hugh Jackman was excellent, and his last scene was well done, but like Tarantino, Hooper was so indulgent in his choices and the plot was so repetitive, uninvolving, and scattered that it robbed the ending of the power it might have had.

    -Beasts. It was fine. Nothing great. The entire movie was ambitious but overrated in my opinion. If you can’t accept the fact that these characters would sacrifice everything, including their health and livelihood, if it means they can stay on their marshlands, then this movie’s not for you.

    -ZDT. Still haven’t seen! But I imagine there isn’t much to critique here. We got bin Laden in real life, Chastain saves the day but her personal life takes a toll, blah, blah. Nothing bad here, but won’t be surprised if I find it flat in the end.

    The extra 2 minutes in Lincoln don’t do anything wrong. And biopics that lionize their figures aren’t problematic if the stories themselves have enough tension. (I had some story issues with Gandhi, for example, but no one complains that the Mahatma is too idealized!)

  • Nic V

    Sasha has always championed the films she has loved. She championed The Social Network in much the same way she’s championed Lincoln. She championed The Help last year although not as rigorously as she had championed Lincoln or The Social Network. She’s championed performances and screenplays. Damn let the woman love what she loves and quite taking her to task for it.

  • Zach

    @Zach M.: that’s fair. I personally thought the film hit the right balance between not really being a biopic but incorporating key elements from Lincoln’s life and personality. If Lincoln is idealized a bit, it’s because he can’t act and react in the same ways everyone around him does, especially his unstable, justifiably bitter wife. He’s the President, the steady figurehead, the role model for change. And if I really wanted to know more about his personal quirks, then maybe I’d watch Young Abraham Lincoln in Illinois, or one of those PBS specials. But DDL’s portrayal is still so affectionate and inspiring, and if anything, I came away with a greater understanding of Mary Todd Lincoln and the political process.

  • Zach

    Sasha, you loved The Help? I think you were just championing Viola, and fairly. Sasha definitely loved Hugo and TGWTDT last year.

  • Victor Barreto

    To suddenly discard all the other movies because of their ending sounds a little strange to me, but I’m really not going to debate about this because it’s pointless.

    I just want to defend Tarantino mentioning what a I read on a article by a portuguese jornalist. What QT did in Django is very similar to what he did in Inglourious Basterds, redeem history through cinema (the best kind, cinema d’auteur), and that’s just beautiful.
    And probably more ambitious than any other contender, even Amour.

  • Zach

    I wasn’t discarding them just because of their endings, just trying to make a mockery of what everyone else seems to be doing to knock Lincoln.

  • Sasha Stone

    Sasha, some might think you were receiving pay outs from the Speilberg camp? Really overrated film. A couple of pretty shots, and Daniel Day Lewis staring intensely does not maketh a film!

    Another asshole. It’s asshole day at Awards Daily

  • *kai02139

    E.T.> >>>>>>Lincoln

  • AB

    what’s with all the name calling, sasha? you’re like the anne coulter of oscar blogging.

  • Bryce Forestieri

    Insecure THE MASTER hipsters are so transparent. The only good thing they have to say about it is that it’s better than LINCOLN. Guess what? the site owner’s favorite movie of the year is LINCOLN. If you can’t get over it drop dead.

    ARGO = Overrated montage, not even a decent thriller, no TENSION whatsoever

    ZERO DARK THIRTY = Makes my hipster ass feel ambivalent about torture :'(

  • Cosme Fulanito

    SASHA, al comenzar a insultar lo único que demuestra es que se te acabaron las ideas…., si tienes un sitio público y ahí publicas tus ideas, debes afrontar entonces que te contesten…(y si no sabes español, que alguien te lo traduzca)

  • rufussondheim

    I really hated the ending to Lincoln (although I would grant the second inaugral address could have followed the walking away scene and it would still be a damn good ending.)

    Endings, to me, should make one want to press rewind, take a dump, and watch the whole thing over. Sadly, DVDs ruined this, but still, the thought remains the same. I was so in the “Lincoln is a masterpiece” camp until I had to see that little bugger’s hand grab the bannister columns, then follow that with the perfectly lit dead Lincoln lying there surrounded by 20 men all of whom conveniently were not directly illuminated. Enough already!

    All the extra few scenes did was allow me to reflect on parts of the movie I disliked. They added nothing, even the shot of the second inaugral was lost on me as I was now physically exhausted from rolling my eyes so much. Linolcn is completely unlike such great endings like Perks or Les Miz or ZDT which had me running to my car so I could get home and exclaim on facebook and here how much I loved those damn movies.

    For those who thought Lincoln was boring, I suggest you watch Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, it’s an exciting crime drama from Turkey with a shockingly poignant ending. You’ll never call Lincoln boring again!

  • rufussondheim

    SASHA, al comenzar a insultar lo único que demuestra es que se te acabaron las ideas…., si tienes un sitio público y ahí publicas tus ideas, debes afrontar entonces que te contesten…(y si no sabes español, que alguien te lo traduzca)

    To comment and insult only demonstrates only something or something about ideas. You have a public website and can publicize your ideas, you should something the contestants or contest and if you don’t speak French, then get someone to translate.

    My French is rusty, so there ya go.

  • moviewatcher

    Sasha, you do know that most of these people just name-check Spielberg and Lincoln right? I’m not saying it doesn’t deserve BP (I haven’t even seen it yet, and I’m very excited for it), but you are aware that Spielberg is perhaps one of maybe 5 directors “normal” people know about, right? He’s known as the “greatest living american director” and people will name-check him without even having seen the movie.

    Just askin’ if you know that that probably happens a lot.

  • danemychal

    Nic V – She championed The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (until it missed the nom) moreso than The Help. She championed Viola Davis alone more than The Help. I think her hopes were with Hugo last year (as were mine) when it was all said and done. But she did’t really have much negative to say about The Artist.

  • Bryce Forestieri

    Movies with better “directing” than ARGO:


    ARBITRAGE for instance is much better at building tension than ARGO

    Um let me check…Yeah they all have better writing too, and many more noteworthy performances in there than among ARGO’s cast

    Not a huge fan of LIFE OF PI but I least I really wan’t to see it again. Maybe it will work better for me without the 3D, and the performances in ZERO DARK THIRTY wipe the floor with Affleck’s Tony Mendez

    Side note: I don’t know how relevant this is, but I really detest every single one of the 6 hostages in ARGO lol

  • rufussondheim

    Yes, moviewatcher, she was reminded of that elsewhere in the comments, although you were the only one to suggest that Americans could name five directors. Until now, 1 and 3 were the favored number. But I like you moviegoer, you have more faith in the American public than the others. You should run for office, people would love your optimism.

  • Bryce Forestieri


    Callate imbecil. Por que no dedicas tu tiempo a aprender a chupar vergas?

  • rufussondheim

    Hooray, more French!

    Shut up, imbecile. Why are you not dedicated to learning the weather when you are eating a chalupa in Vegas?

  • moviewatcher


    I actually was going to put 3. Spielberg, Scorsese and then they have to know one more right? Nolan, Eastwood, Cameron and Allen are the ones that come to mind the most. I put 5 ’cause I thought people would feel insulted by me saying Americans were ignorant on this subject. Apparently, I was wrong.

  • rufussondheim

    ha ha moviewatcher.

    I think most people could name Michael Bay. Now I wonder how many directors the typical American could name if they were just asked to list some.

  • kneeplay_

    I love Once Upon a Time in Anatolia. Most of my favourites are actually the ones that most people would call “boring”. I’m an incredibly boring person, what can I say? That being said, even Lincoln was too boring for me. I couldn’t deal with it telling me how “important” it was every second. I walked out after about an hour to go catch a drag show: more entertaining, better wigs and frankly, I saw more things I’d never seen a million times before. The film seemed dated, like one of those bloated Oscar-winning epic bios from the 80s.

    That being said, although it seems likely that it won’t win Picture, it seems to have Director, Lead Actor and Supporting Actor all sewn up, and possibly even Adapted Screenplay and a few more. That’s still pretty f**king good.

    Oh, and people who use simplified, idiotics terms like “hipster” oughta shampoo my crotch. (And I didn’t like The Master at all).

  • moviewatcher

    “I think most people could name Michael Bay.”

    How depressing is that!?

  • rufussondheim

    “I walked out after about an hour to go catch a drag show: more entertaining, better wigs”

    Quote of the day!

  • Aragorn

    Sasha: “Another asshole. It’s asshole day at Awards Daily”..

    So should we say “every Jan 30th” ??? 🙂

    LOLLLLL!!! Sasha you made me laugh a lot:) Oh well, whats new?
    I think some of this is related to some commenters being new here. So they dont know how passionate you get about some movies and you do in fact a better “pushing” than their paid PR agents:))) I would suggest “let them go”

    I know? and many of your loyal followers know that every year you have one or two “personal” favorites and you defend them and support them. Do I agree with everything what you say? No. Do I share some of your thoughts/sentiment? No. But because you are who you are and I am a different person. It is good to see someone to write about moveis this passionately.

    I decided to stop defending Lincoln to those who say “it was boring”. If thats what they only think about Lincoln what can you say? I personally enjoyed that movie soooo much that I was on the edge of my seat especially during the last 45 minutes. And that scene where Lincoln/DDL walks away in the hallway was one of the most touching scenes for me in the entire year (especially since we know what follows next).

    Ok, so is Jan 30 the “new asshole day at Awards Daily”???? 🙂

  • Terometer

    “calm down. its just a movie.”

    Are you crazy? It’s her real living companion for the last couple months dying in front of her.

  • Zach M.

    This is a general statement to most of the Lincoln supporters, you all seem to believe that dissenters of Lincoln have some sort of hate-crusade against Spielberg and the film, when I just think you guys are blowing it out of proportion. I have never stated to dislike Lincoln; as I have said, I think it’s a pretty good film, just not a great one nor deserving of Best Picture (or, at the very least, Best Director).

    Also, Zach, I don’t get what you were trying to achieve with your breakdown of all of the other BP nominees’ endings, other than to “prove they’re no more satisfying than Lincoln” (not to mention accidentally spoil a film for someone scrolling through your comment and missed the SPOILERS bit. I still haven’t seen Django yet, thank you very much) If anything, it seems more childish a thing than anything; sure, you can go ahead and argue the case for the other films if it makes you feel any better, but my opinion on Lincoln remains unchanged. I’m simply stating how I, personally, reacted to the ending, I’m not suggesting that everyone must agree with my sentiments.

    And while we’re on the topic, the of the ending of Zero Dark Thirty has one of the most riveting action sequences I’ve seen all year, so I’d probably consider it to have one of the better endings of the BP nominees.

  • Aragorn

    Barbs will perform at the Oscars. They really push hard this year.. First Adele, then Norah Jones, Bond movies and now one and only Mrs Barbra Streisand….Exciting.

  • Another asshole. It’s asshole day at Awards Daily

    Like tomorrow’s going to be any better. It only gets worse the longer the season goes on.

    Haters gon’ hate.

  • Bryce, where did you catch After Lucia? I rly want to see it!

  • tr

    It’s funny seeing people on this website bicker and argue about which films they consider great and which they consider overrated or even “bad.” If you consider any of the Best Picture nominees (outside of maybe Les Miserables) to be bad movies, then you are a fickle, nitpicky human being.

    The worst of the nominees for me is Les Miserable and even that one I’d assign a C+ grade. The rest are B+ movies or better. I think cinephiles get so used to watching great movie after great movie that they lose sight of what a “bad movie” actually means.

  • Christophe

    This isn’t French, this is Spanish! How come you can translate it if you don’t even know which language it is? Lol

    Also, I’m all for asshole day 😉 But with me it’s like every day, I’ve been called idiot, stupid, douchebag and all kinds of names on this web site for no obvious reason except the insolence to give my own humble opinion. Hooray for AD!

  • daveinprogress

    Cripes there are some disrespectful folk in these comments. Sasha owns her statements, opinions and loves, which is what a blogger has every right to do. Sasha is also a writer, film lover and advocater for quality in the medium. So often, i read people projecting their own ardent tastes and views onto Sasha as if she was the official Oscar site or only viewpoint in town. A discourse is one thing (Sasha and Ryan tolerate a lot of ‘discourse’ on their site and i use the air-quote ‘discourse’, because a lot of it is just plain and simple dumping!)

    The owners and editors of this site have every right to post whatever threads, links, titles and arguments. As visitors, it would be really cool to see people ‘own’ their own biases and tastes and not make sweeping generalisations and personal attacks on filmmakers, the editors of this site, and one another. This is a year filled with amazing storytellers and performances, and yet so much energy is expended on point scoring and belittling. I see that a lot of the regular visitors have created their own blogs and i congratulate them on that, and get a sense that they are among the respectful and value-added members to this online community. Perhaps becuase they have been on the receiving end of bile and projection from anonymous mouthpieces also.

    I get that we are reaching the pointy end of the season. Emotions run high.
    I appreciate the impassioned content that the tireless editors bring to the site. It is great fuel for either personal processing when analysing movies or for exchanges on this board, but can people remember the phrase, ‘in my humble opinion’ a little more, if not in typed words, then at least in the tone and wording of comments.

    Peace Out!

  • Christophe

    ^^Piss out yourself!

    Don’t blame me it’s asshole day…

  • daveinprogress

    ^ Hmmm, if the cap fits….

  • Christophe

    Thx! I’ve learnt a new saying. Even when we insult each other, we can still learn from each other! That’s the magic of AD on Asshole Day. Wow now I get it.

  • Edkargir

    Ben or Steven will win I’d vote for Kathryn.

  • Scott

    I don’t think they’d know Clint Eastwood is a director.

  • Butler

    I know it’s been written on other posts that this year’s Oscar results will set some sort of historical precedent, and thus it is futile to try to look at the recent Oscar past to get a handle on how things might play out. But that being said, let me attempt to do just that to show the long odds for Argo and the much better odds for Lincoln winning Best Picture.

    In the past 20 years (an arbitrary number, and one that doesn’t go back to Driving Miss Daisy, but again: been written elsewhere), the fewest Oscars any Best Picture winner has collected is 3. Of course, this was for Crash, which equaled the number of Oscars Brokeback Mountain won the same year. It won in Picture, Screenplay and Editing. Right now, when looking at the (ever-changing) trends in the different categories, Argo is arguably a slim favorite to win Editing over Zero Dark Thirty and Lincoln. However, unlike when Crash and Brokeback were in separate writing categories (and each won), Argo and Lincoln will be going against each other in Adapted. Lincoln is still considered the favorite to win that category (according to Gold Derby and a number of other Oscar charting sites).

    So, let’s say that Lincoln beats out Argo for Screenplay, but Argo holds out to win Editing. What other Oscars might Argo win?
    –Supporting Actor: No. Alan Arkin is 4th or 5th out of these five to potentially win. It’s extremely unlikely that anyone except Jones, Hoffman or Waltz would get this.
    –Sound Editing: No. Life of Pi or Skyfall are considered the clear front-runners here. Argo isn’t in the top two according to anyone’s guesses.
    –Sound Mixing: No. Same trends as with Sound Editing.
    –Score: Maybe, but unlikely at this point. Mychael Danna and John Williams are duking it out now, with Dario Marianelli in most people’s third slot.

    That would mean that Argo would be the winner of Best Picture and Best Editing. And that would put it in the statistical outlier category even more than Crash or Driving Miss Daisy.

    In this same scenario, Lincoln would have won Screenplay but lost Picture. Other categories where it might win:
    –Director: Very likely. It’s not just the American public’s poll, it’s being decisively picked by many others following the race. Even more significant is that the people who don’t want to give it to Spielberg can’t seem to decide on one of the others more than another.
    –Actor: Yes.
    –Supporting Actor: Very likely. Tommy Lee Jones is an even likelier winner than Spielberg would be (according to oddsmakers, at least).
    –Supporting Actress: Doubtful. Seems to be Hathaway’s to lose.
    –Cinematography, Sound Mixing, Costumes: All seem unlikely at this point.
    –Production Design: A tossup. The biggest contenders seem to be Anna Karenina or Les Mis. Lincoln would be a dark horse, for sure.
    –Score: May become more clear, but definitely a close race between Danna and Williams.

    So, get rid of the unlikely or tossups, and you have Lincoln winning four, even without Picture: Director, Screenplay, Actor and Supporting Actor. Those are four categories that correlate VERY strongly with a Best Picture winner within the last 20 years.

    My point is: The Oscars (generally) like the Best Picture winner to have at least a few, sometimes many, other accolades in addition to the top prize. Going back to Million Dollar Baby (because when you include Return of the King the year before, it skews much higher), the average number of total Oscars won by Best Picture is a little under 5. It’s a stretch to think Argo could get any more than 3 at this point (the third would most likely be screenplay). However, even in a pessimistic look at Lincoln’s chances, a Best Picture win would put its total at… 5 Oscars.

    But of course, I don’t mind (that’s the trick, right?). Unless it’s about losing my Oscar pool, then I mind very much.

  • Scott

    And if they have heard of Woody Allen the general public would most likely know him for his tabloid story and would be hard pressed to name any film he has directed in the last thirty years.

  • John

    Quick little interesting Lincoln story regarding my 59 yr. old mom and 85 yr. old grandma.

    They had been anticipating ‘Lincoln’ for a while. They love Abraham Lincoln. They like Spielberg. The commercials intrigued them. And they know that DDL is a great actor.

    They finally see it. They think it’s “very good”. But I could tell that they were completely lost with the first 20 minutes or so. The first scene (staging of it, dialogue), the next scene (Lincoln’s dream), the next scene with Mary Todd telling him it was the dream, and then the initial Seward scene … after that, they settled in and began to follow what was going on and then they were hooked.

    I then got my hands on a screener a week later and they’ve probably watched it now a good 4-5 times and each time they see it they love it more and more. They completely follow it. And they think it’s just wonderful.

    The point of all of this is that I think a lot of people (highly anticipating the movie or not) could get a bit – I don’t know – “thrown” by those first 3-4 scenes and then zone out a bit …. hence …. the word ‘boring’ enters the picture. It’s like they check-out early and then may or may nor transition into appreciating/loving it by the end.

    Anyone have or know of a similar reaction?

  • Someone

    BRAVEHEART won Globe for best director but not for drama (SENSE AND SENSIBILITY won that year).

  • Odee

    Lincoln was not a boring film. It was a thinking persons film. Similar to the way they made them in the 60’s, sort of like A Man For All Seasons, or Lawrence Of Arabia. Unfortunately, we now live in a world whereas the powers that be are too busy trying to convince people that it’s a chore to think and that everything should be easy. Sad.

    Either way, this award should be about the director who pulled off the biggest challenge, I would think, among voting directors and if that’s the case, then Ang Lee should be looking to win DGA number three for PI, which was by far, the most difficult to bring to the screen.

  • Bryce Forestieri


    A mejicano friend of mine got an illegitimate copy at a local Mexican/Hispanic flea market and I borrowed it from him.

  • Someone

    IMO Spielberg will win Oscar even if he loses DGA to Affleck. Still – my fawourite is Ang Lee who should win DGA AND Oscar!

  • I need un amigo Mejicano!

    Soz about the French, rufus.

  • Zach

    @Zach M., I’m sorry if you can’t read the word SPOILERS. This ain’t IMDb. I can’t hide the text if you don’t want to see it. But listen, you weren’t spoiled miss much.

    With Lincoln, you’re entitled to your opinion. So what’s your Best Pic then? It’s a competition. I’m not saying Lincoln is a perfect film or one of the best ever because I really don’t feel that. I was merely arguing that it’s the best of the year and that people can complain all the want about the ending, justifiably or not, but it’s far from the only Best Picture nominee this year with a flawed or dissatisfying ending.

    @Butler, good analysis. So basically anyone who wants to predict Argo to win Best Picture should have the balls to predict it to win at least Adapted Screenplay over Lincoln. Even then, Lincoln winning Actor, S. Actor, and Director makes it seem close. But then Lincoln hasn’t been winning much this season so far, until the SAGs where Argo still won the main award. And they could have used it to honor Sally!

    Still, makes sense that the supposed Argo love would translate even irrationally to some lesser categories and that Lincoln wouldn’t win so much. The BFCA spread things around, with Argo winning only 3 awards, but then the Academy votes more with their heart.

  • daveinprogress

    Odee: “Either way, this award should be about the director who pulled off the biggest challenge”

    My sentiments exactly, Odee, of how to judge a directing award. Degree of difficulty and then execution of that challenge. Spielberg, Lee, Bigelow this year.

  • Zach

    ‘Scuse me, Argo only won 2 awards at the BFCA. The. fuck.

  • Praetor

    I find it a little bit sad that everyone who felt Lincoln was boring, is apparently somehow shallow, superficial or too lazy to think or something.

    Weird, since I’m a fan of Ozu and Dreyer (stating my level of arty farty credibility ) and I also found Lincoln very dull.

    So it is either possible to feel like that and not be a Michael Bay fan or you’re all just a bunch of whiners.

  • Yogsss

    Only great films take the worst out of people in order to take them down (I was rooting for John Wilkes Boothe? Fucking serious?)

    You might disagree with Sasha about Lincoln being the best Spielberg film, but it is impossible to deny that is Steven’s most mature film to date.

    I was afraid it was going to be another War Horse, and by the look of the very first trailer, it seemed that way. Then, we all saw it and if you actually have a brain to use besides for masturbating and rooting for Silver Linings Playbook, you’d realize how deep the movie goes. Is so subtle when in comes to character development that is impossible not to love Tony Kushner.

    Yeah, I get the ending. I didn’t liked it either, but taking down the entire film. The entire accomplishment just because the last 10 minutes where “shit”? (they where not. Get the fuck out)
    I’ve seen films with way, way worst endings not getting the hate Lincoln gets.

    It doesn’t matter if it goes home empty handed. There’s 2 reasons why I want it to win a) Kathleen fucking Kennedy and b) is the best film I have seen this year.

    All this shit reminds me of The Social Network. “Bu-bu-but is so boring” “Is just about nerds on their computers!” “King’s Speech made me cry and the facebook film didn’t” “Tom Hooper looks so nice and evil son of Beelzebub’s Fincher doesn’t!”

    Yeah, kiddos. Keep enjoying your Weinstein Co’s lots-of-hearts fest. We will keep enjoying The Social Network, Hugo, Lincoln and all the most boring losers of all time 😉

  • For an Official Asshole Day, I´m proud of myself and how I can control my mouth (and my fingers…):)

  • Jim

    @Praetor…Well put. I didn’t think Lincoln was close to being in Speilberg’s top 5 also. I enjoyed Lincoln, but did not think it was a top tier movie like Schindler’s List. So I am labeled boring or an asshole.

  • FiveEasyPieces

    I know this is a bit off-topic but I saw “After Lucia” too because it played at AFI Fest in November here in LA — and I really loved it. It makes great use of a reflexive, static camera that makes the viewer complicit in the bullying sustained by the young girl.

    I also saw two other really good ones at AFI Fest that others may want to check out when they eventually get released: “Eat Sleep Die,” a Swedish film about a young girl and her dad whose lives change for the worse when she gets laid off, and also “Nairobi Half-Life,” which is sort of a Nairobi version of “Midnight Cowboy.”

  • Jim

    @Yogss…well…it isn’t impossible to deny the it is Speilberg’s most mature film to date. I just said it, I don’t think it it is in his top 5. I could make the comment that it was a very well acted History Chanel movie……sure sounds like a King’s Speech Hooper comment to me. I do agree with you…Kennedy deserves an Oscar in the worst way, but give it to her for something that deserves it.

  • moviewatcher

    I just feel so sad that Spielberg might win his third oscar this year and for the second time he won’t have a corresponding BP win a la 1998. It makes want to root for him. he’s a great director who is very consistent and who even with his less “important” films (Catch Me If You Can) manages to make something really interesting. I’ll be seeing Lincoln this weekend and will make up my own mind about it, but I’m going in with high expectations.

  • Aragorn


    I am not questionng anyone’ taste or artsy fartsy credibility. You or anyone may have their own reason why they didnt love the movie or even didnt like it. Hats totally fine. But if your only reaponse ” it is boring” then i would ask for a bit more elaboration. Some people here are very qualified to make better judgements about directing, acting, lighting, sound, stage etc. but just saying it was boring but nothing else shows level of depth n my opnion. Thats the only thing some people say repeatedly. They dont even know why they say it was boring but just boring…thats not good enough to take down a well made movie. Again i could be wrong.

  • Roberto

    If there is one director from whom I have almost all of his/her films, this is Steven Spielberg.

    If you have already watched Lincoln, as a suggestion, see it one more time, and then another. I think, you can play it multiple times, like The Godfather, and you will not get tired of it. Not the same with most of the movies.

  • Zach M.


    I suppose it’s my mistake for not being as clear as I could be. I’m not saying that Lincoln isn’t the only film among the BP nominees that has an unsatisfying ending, though I have said that the ending isn’t the only fault I find with the film.


    Life of Pi, for example, had an ending that I think sort of undermined the whole rest of the film and left me feeling somewhat deflated from the whole experience (a good film, yeah, but the ending sort of left me ambivalent about the whole thing).

    SLP had a shameless crowd-pleaser of an ending and just sort of ends abruptly (I can’t deny that I didn’t enjoy seeing everything work out for everyone in the end, but yeah, I admit, it’s fairly contrived).

    Argo ended fairly appropriately, I thought. The airport scene was a bit Hollywoodized, but it was nice and tense, and what good story doesn’t demand a little bit of embellishment? Plus, I liked the minimalism of Mendez backstory involving his son. It was peppered on just enough, I felt, so that it filled in some of his character gaps but never distracted from the main story (the scene where he writes his son the postcard was one of the film’s most memorable moments, IMO).

    Amour ends on a fairly bleak and unresolved note, which was appropriate for the tone of the film. I can’t say it was the most enjoyable ending of the year, but anything else would have felt wrong.

    Beasts of the Southern Wild…eh, I didn’t love it or hate it. The goodbye between Hushpuppy and Wink was nice and affecting, but I can’t help but feel like it ended right as it was getting started.

    I’ve already stated my case about ZDT – a marvelously tense and exciting final action scene closed by one of the most stirring and morally ambiguous final shots of the year. Probably the best ending of the BP nominees.

    As far as what my pick is for Best Picture? Honestly, none of them. My top 5 looks a little something like this:

    1. Skyfall
    2. Seven Psychopaths
    3. The Master
    4. Looper
    5. Zero Dark Thirty/End of Watch

    So if I had a gun to my head, I suppose I’d probably pick Zero Dark Thirty as my Best Picture winner, but as it is, I’m sort of going into this year with a kind of detachment from the BP lineup since I’m not really rooting for any one film in particular (though I do know what films I *don’t* want to win).

  • Bryce Forestieri


    So what’s your thoughts on I WAS BORN, BUT…?

  • Victor Barreto

    Loved Once Upon a Time in Anatolia. The eyes seen in this film show much more than emotion, they show a story about something bigger that we never see – a masterpiece by the great Nuri Bilge Ceylan.

    Great analysis. I absolut agree with your logic, and it will probably happen like you said, but I do think there are things on recent Oscars that help Argo. Slumdog Millionaire, for instance. No acting nominations, and it beat both Wall-E and Dark Knight on Sound Mixing (the Pixar film is groundbreaking on this feature), which is absurd. It also managed to win original score and original song. These 3 prizes were probably “excuses” to justify the win on best picture.

    Under circumstances like this, Argo could easily win score and maybe even sound mixing/editing.

    Lincoln, on the other hand, will probably win supp. actor and director, but, as sure as it seems the victory of DDL, I still think there is a slight chance of him losing. Only because this would be his third Oscar on the MAIN category. Ask Meryl if it’s something easy to do (and the one she won for KvsK was for supporting). After Day-Lewis won the SAG, he mentioned Joaquin Phoenix’ talent. Even with all the controversy, I think Phoenix is the only one who can win the award with people booing the day after. But still, very very hard to happen.

  • Victor Barreto

    *without people booing

  • Rebeca Fuhrer from Germany

    I’m absolutely sick of this crap made ​​in hollywood magnitude. it shows that there are no creative minds in the Golden Kingdom. and your sasha, stop criticizing dire good way these works of nature. this movie looks created by film students in the third world. daniel, hopefully miss. stupid movie, bad picture, screenplay sucks. Thanks for continuing to import hollywood shit our Scandinavian countries. Thanks for continuing to show hollywood film making that is bullshit. sasha thanks for showing films that do stupid things in your country

  • Scott (the other one)

    @Zach “I’ve never heard anyone complain so much about a film ending as they have with Lincoln.”

    I assume you are talking in part about me, because your comment came right after my comment on the end of Lincoln.

    Maybe a lot of people are talking about the ending of Lincoln because it has a crappy ending — sorry, TWO crappy endings. I liked Lincoln quite a bit, and it had ONE great ending, which Spielberg then took away from by tacking on two crappy endings.

    Anyway, the point of my post, which you obviously skimmed, was to ask Sasha, who really loved the film, if she liked the endings too. I was just curious about her views on the ending and whether her view that the film is a masterpiece extends to the endings, or she just forgives the endings because she likes the rest of the film so much.

  • Bryce Forestieri

    OT: Everything about this project screams awesome:
    Ullman, Chastain, Ferrell, Morton, Stindberg <3

  • Yvette

    Sasha said:

    ‘Zach, I don’t mean this as an insult but I don’t mean it to sound like one – does it ever both you when you guys all seem to think exactly alike? I get this same argument over and over again by mostly young men. I am not sure why there is this constant sameness in critiquing both Spielberg’s work and the Lincoln ending. I don’t get it.’

    YES, YES and YESS!

    It’s like an entire generation growing up on a steady diet of snarky film commentary from the likes of Bob’s Movie Emporium or whatever…..
    The anti-Spielberg crap is the most group-think, knee-jerk reaction from these hipster punks who fancy themselves experts on FILM. They’ve been conditioned to believe that a film is only worthwhile if it’s ironic or kitschy or who the hell else knows what….
    I hate to say it because I love Tarantino – but I his films and their sensibilities have created this weird cult of film nerds who have no references to real film commentary or real film experience. It’s all ‘you can always tell its a Spielberg film’ …
    No shit! That’s called a style, a vision.
    I don’t get it. Because it really does seem like younger guys and hipster wannabes.

    I also see a lot of this coming from the PTA fanboys and that’s a shame – because PTA is a good artist, but for some reason, he seems to attract a smug, clueless fan base who can’t reference anything before Boogie Nights.

  • Yvette

    ‘John Wilkes Booth / January 30, 2013
    Sasha, some might think you were receiving pay outs from the Speilberg camp? Really overrated film. A couple of pretty shots, and Daniel Day Lewis staring intensely does not maketh a film!’

    John Wilkes Booth,
    As opposed to a couple of pretty shots, and Joaquin Phoenix humping sand dunes and gesticulating intensely for two+ hours.
    And I love PTA and JP, but his fans are not representing him well.
    How do I know you’re a PTA fanboy?
    Because your posts are nearly identical.

  • ajk

    Awards Daily is my favorite website and I love Spielberg and Lincoln I hope they sweep the Oscars!!!!! XOXOXO 🙂 🙂 <3 <3 <3

  • Abraham Stincoln

    Do you know what movie sucks? Lincoln. It sucks. Something awful. It was dull. It has nothing to offer. Beasts of the Southern Wild could wipe its soggy, flooded butt with this film.

    Seriously, this film really did make me think that John Wilkes Booth had done us ALL a favor… well maybe not, because now we have this awful film.

  • Yvette

    ‘I couldn’t deal with it telling me how “important” it was every second.’

    And that about sums it up. In the same way that the anti-Spielberg sentiment is a reaction to the fact that he is the most popular and successful directors ever.
    It’s a different kind of group-think and willful cynicism.

  • Sasha Stone

    I find it a little bit sad that everyone who felt Lincoln was boring

    Beyond sad. I hate that stupid people rule the world.

  • Sasha Stone

    ‘Scuse me, Argo only won 2 awards at the BFCA. The. fuck.


  • Sasha Stone

    The point of all of this is that I think a lot of people (highly anticipating the movie or not) could get a bit – I don’t know – “thrown” by those first 3-4 scenes and then zone out a bit …. hence …. the word ‘boring’ enters the picture. It’s like they check-out early and then may or may nor transition into appreciating/loving it by the end.

    Totally agree. If you get passed that first long (but very necessary) talky scene the real movie emerges. But voters ain’t got time to care. They just want it quick and dirty. The only way I can get through Oscar season anymore is to talk about the movies I love. I have gotten over it meaning anything. I hope.

  • Yvette

    ‘Abraham Stincoln / January 30, 2013
    Do you know what movie sucks? Lincoln. It sucks. Something awful. It was dull. It has nothing to offer. Beasts of the Southern Wild could wipe its soggy, flooded butt with this film.
    Seriously, this film really did make me think that John Wilkes Booth had done us ALL a favor… well maybe not, because now we have this awful film.’

    You know, I liked Beasts – a bit overrated but original. For the life of me, I can’ imagine someone who can say something as asinine and adolescent could even understand Beasts.

  • Sasha Stone

    You know, I liked Beasts – a bit overrated but original. For the life of me, I can’ imagine someone who can say something as asinine and adolescent could even understand Beasts.

    For the win.

  • steve50

    Passing through the same cloud, Sasha. The period of anticipation from Cannes to November is the best, especially this year’s “the case for” essays. Then the impending doom hits, always just before the DGA, at the same time the whack-a-mole trolls start their thing.

    The only recent year that momentum didn’t sag was Social Network/King’s Speech, when the excitement – and hope – didn’t slip into a funk.

    Keep writing about what you love, leave the mud-wrestling to the rest. You have a lot of devoted readers here.

  • Jorge

    Sasha – I’m with you 100% on Lincoln like I was on TSN (but not Viola Davis! :)). It’s a master piece. It will be a shame to see it lose to the easy, fake movie Argo, which is good for sure, but not in the same universe.

    When I saw Argo in Toronto I thought: this has a good chance – the good ol boys will like it. Pat themselves in the back. Exciting. Quick punch-line (Argofuck yourself), etc. Easy movie. Easy to like. Exaggerated, contrived plot towards the end – which is ironic given that it pretends to be so serious.

    Oh well, another year, another decision they will regret.

    It does get old. But watching the movie again and getting so much reward out of it is worth it every time. Same with TSN.

    Like wounds of the heart, time will heal it all.

  • CJ

    I really don’t get how anyone can complain about closing “Lincoln” with the 2nd Inagural. If anything, I wish the full speech had been there instead of just the last half of it.

  • rufussondheim

    Yvette, you haven’t been around long enough (at least as Yvette, maybe you’re someone else too, I don’t know) to know that some of us Spielberg detractors are actually quite conversant on many aspects of film. I don’t want to categorize anyone but there are several people on this site that have written intelligent and thoughtful passages on why Spielberg is not amongst their favorites.

    There are a lot of reasons to dislike Spielberg, even his most revered films can readily be taken apart in a reasoned and logical fashion.

    It’s OK to like Spielberg, it’s also OK to not like Spielberg. Great films are everywhere no matter where you stand on the Spielberg Spectrum.

    As for the Lincoln is Boring crowd, I really wish I would have cut and pasted that passage from the renowned film and history scholar, Rhetoric Teacher. Now that was some fancy tapdancing! But silly me, I can’t even find a search function on here to look for it.

  • rufussondheim

    Thanks for the heads up on Miss Julie, Bryce. It’s clear to me that Jessica Chastain is making some smart choices. While I think she deserves the Oscar this year, it won’t be upsetting to me if she doesn’t win one, because you know she’ll probably snag a couple at some point in the future.

    This might be Jennifer Lawrence’s last shot.

  • Nic V

    You know Russ I’d love for you to stand up in front of a group of Jewish Concentration Camp Survivors and take apart Schindler’s List for them. I’d love for you to “TELL THEM” how it was.

  • Zach

    Jennifer Lawrence’s last shot? Hell, even Helen Hunt came back from the dead.

    We can logic it out as much as we want. And yet I feel like this is going to be a Crash year. Life of Pi wins the most awards, probably 5 (cinematography, visual, score, and, if only because people are lazy and vote en masse, both sound awards; and Adele COULD lose). Lincoln wins Director, Actor, Supporting Actor, and Screenplay. Anna Karenina wins art and costume. Argo wins Picture and Editing. God, that looks like such a mess.

    Why am I more excited for the WGA and the Sound Guild than DGA? Those sound awards are particularly tricky this year. They may not want to give Skyfall 3 Oscars. Hurt Locker beat Avatar for both sound awards–and fairly, but it was an indicator of where Best Pic was going. Same for nontraditional sound winners like Slumdog and Chicago. I mean, I’m glad Lincoln has the possible support to win, but how did it get nominated in Sound? I don’t remember gunshots. I do remember gavels.

    Just watch Argo take both sound awards.

  • Antoinette

    Shut up, imbecile. Why are you not dedicated to learning the weather when you are eating a chalupa in Vegas?

    Hmm… that’s not what Google translate said.

  • CJ

    Gunshots and gavels would probably more likely fit in sound editing Zack.

    The “Lincoln” sound team headed by Ben Burt is pretty legendary in the business. That’s why it got in.

  • Zach

    OK, but what were the sounds? I just don’t remember anything there for them to nominate. Hardly my biggest gripe of the season though.

  • Naruse

    Come on guys. At least Lincoln is not that horrendous Iron Lady. It’s not the best film of the year, not the best among the nomineeds (Amour & ZD30 are), but it’s mightily fine if it takes the top two prizes at the Oscars.

    DDL has to win as this is clearly the best performance (actors or actresses) last year.

  • CJ

    Best Sound is more how the levels are recorded and mixed at. Like the dialogue, music, ambiant noise etc…and how it all is laid down in the finished film.

    Sound Editing is the sound effects that had to be re-recorded and editied in the mix in post (like gunshots, foley sounds, and the like that the probably didn’t get good enough sample for when they were actually shooting….most sound effects are edited in post).

  • Zach

    When I think of Sound Mixing vs. Sound Editing, Sound Editing is always the noisiest, most elaborate film (epics, war films, blockbusters), whereas Sound Mixing, when it goes to a different film, is the one with the most memorable use of sound, like Chicago with the “Cell Block Tango” or The Hurt Locker with all of the ambient technical sounds. I still can’t remember much Sound Mixing of distinction in Lincoln (nor in Argo, for that matter), but when I watch Lincoln again, I’ll listen more closely.

  • CJ

    Here’s a video with Ben Burtt discussing the Sound design Zack.

  • tr

    Guess I’m lucky that I loved all of the films that have a decent shot at winning (some more than others obviously). Lincoln, Argo, Zero Dark Thirty, Silver Linings…all would be worthy winners in my opinion. Lincoln and ZDT are my top two films of the year, but Argo and Silver Linings aren’t far behind.

    This is called eclectic taste, people. Learn it, and stop bitching about whatever movie is threatening the horse you’re pushing. Eight of the nine Best Pic nominees are very good films. We should consider ourselves lucky.

  • tr

    Well, ZDT and SLP don’t exactly have a “decent” shot at winning, but you all know what I mean.

  • rufussondheim

    No problem Nic V., I’ll be happy to if you round them up for me!

  • Archie

    Had Affleck and Bigelow been nominated Spielberg has no way in hell winning Best Director. Spielberg will get his third Oscar. Same as Daniel Day Lewis. Daniel Day Lewis winning will be the first actor directed by Spielberg to win an Oscar.

  • Vitamin168

    I am rooting for Ang Lee to take the DGA and Oscar BD but will be glad if anyone else on the nomination list to win it. I understand why Life of Pi is so under-estimated in western world, quite similar to what happened to Lust, Caution which I also regard as Ang Lee’s Masterpiece of a journey to human heart of darkness. The turnaround in the ending of Life of Pi is no surprise to majority of Asian people as people always expect something bad following such a greatness. That is the concept of “Yin and Yang” from the great book of “Yi-Jing”. What the philosophy of “Yi-Jing” has constantly been teaching Chinese is that after the pinnacle of “Flying Dragon in the Sky”, there will be followed by a turnaround of “Over-excited Dragon with sorrow”. There is a cultural gap here. That is why Life of Pi has been performing so well in Asia. Asian simply resonates better with the film.

  • Alexander

    I think what a lot of people have missed with Lincoln is that the first five minutes with the four soldiers and the final moments with his son learning about the assassination, the deathbed scene and the flash to his Second Inaugural from that candlelight are all constructed by Kushner and Spielberg to represent the “mythical” Lincoln, where he’s revered like almost a saint. They are bookends to the real “historical” Lincoln which we see act like a fallible, gifted but also flawed man interacting with others in highly political matters of great import and delicacy. Quite a device, I think, allowing mass audiences a better chance to understand their relationship to an icon in American history while representing their grand notion of him at the same time.

  • Christophe

    “After the pinnacle of “Flying Dragon in the sky”, there will be followed by a turnaround of “Over-excited Dragon with sorrow”.

    I hear you vitamin, the snake in my trousers does that kind of s*** every 4 hours or so.

    Don’t blame me it’s Asshole Day (AD) after hours…

  • Vitamin168


    No worry, I do not blame you. Probably you have never read Yi-Jing (I-Ching). Wish you all the best in Asshole Day!!

  • Sammy

    @Zach – I disagree with you. Amour would be a truly deserving BP winner. Its handicap is being in foreign language and that is all. Academy knows that and quite rightly they have given the film the most important nominations considering the artistical achievement of the film.

  • Sammy

    Sound mixing is related to what you are doing on the film set. Almost every scene requires a different sound design (location of microphones, using sound barriers etc.) and sound mixer works to get solutions for every scene that the director want to shoot. I really respect what they are doing because it is a very difficult task.

  • Christophe

    But whatnis i-ching anyway? I assumed it was some kind of divination method, but the whole thing sounds very esoteric to me.

  • Christophe

    better come here for a good laugh! I usually skip the pompous and patronizing essays and go straight to the comments, that’s the best part of AD!

  • Cameron

    @ Christophe

    Don’t get me wrong, I like some of the articles and she is a good writer, but I prefer to be wooed, wined, and dined before coitus, not bashed over the head with a club, dragged into the back of her garage and treated like Marcellus Wallace. This absurd prejudice and grudge-holding makes Awards Daily the Huffington Post of film criticism.

  • Cameron

    Besides, I’m still waiting for my Tarantino DVD box set but since it’s been almost 2 months and I never got a response and I live in Germany now it seems increasingly unlikely.

  • Like Sasha, I believe that Lincoln is an American masterpiece and the years best film — period — like many other critics I enjoyed Argo very much and from the moment I emerged from the screening at TIFF I believed it would play a major role in the Oscar race — however is it now emerging so large in the race because there are those who do not want a Spielberg to win, or because there is a swelling of emotion for poor Ben Affleck, who did not get the Oscar nod he deserved? — Either way, Lincoln is the better film, in fact again, it was the years best film — Spielberg made a very bold choice as a filmmaker known for visual imagery and always managing to stun audiences with the beauty of his filmmaking — he turned this one over to his actors and screenwriter, and his subtle direction (again, a choice) is among the finest of his career — Daniel Day-Lewis and Sally Field each gave performances for the ages, Day-Lewis in particular inhabits the soul of the character as no other actor in the part ever has — like Sasha I have grown up with Spielberg, watched him evolve as a director and person, seen his confidence as a director grow, and his personality change — in the beginning he was a brilliant whiz kid, terrified that someone else might get credit for his work — he would never again work with Verna Fields who won an Oscar for editing Jaws (1975) after whispers that she saved the film — she would not have had a film to cut had he not made the choices he did on set — he grew up as a person in the business, leaving behind petty jealousy along the way as he recognized that cinema was a collaborative art form — his best work, Schindler’s List (1993), Saving Private Ryan (1998), Lincoln (2012), E.T. (1982), Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), Jaws (1975), Munich (2005), A.I. : Artificial Intelligence (2001), Minority Report (2002), Raiders of the lost Ark (1981) and Empire if the Sun (1987) display a storytelling mastery possessed by no other filmmaker in the history of the cinema — how many times has he failed through a forty year career? 1941 (1979), The Color Purple (1985), Always (1989), Hook (1991) and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) and let it be known that one of those failures (in my eyes), The color Purple (85) was nominated for a whopping eleven Academy Awards and won the man his first DGA Award — he is the most nominated director in the history of the DGA with eleven nominations, has won three, along with the Lifetime Achievement Award, and yet there are still detractors — why? Because his films make money??? Damn him for having his finger on the pulse of the audiences?? He has always stated he makes films that he would like to see, and obviously others like them too — do great films really have to play in art houses to an audience of twelve before being considered art??? — Spielberg has been creating art since the beginning of his career, the fact it has been successful has almost been a curse to him — this pissing and moaning about Spielberg was fashionable in the eighties, but surely to God the man has nothing more to prove? Why is this ugliness rearing its head again? Because once again he made a terrific film? Lincoln is one for the ages, and Spielberg should take home his third Oscar for Best Director even if the Academy goes out of their minds and awards Argo the award for Best Picture — if the Oscars were just he would have won in 1977 for Close Encounters, again in ’82 for E.T., in 87 for Empire of the Sun, 93 for Schindler’s List, again in ’98 for Saving Private Ryan, and this year for Lincoln — later this year my book, Spielberg: American Film Visionary will be released and I make the bold statement that he is the finest director in film history…and I believe it.
    Sasha, with you all the way on this one.

  • Christophe

    I also like when Sasha posts goodies like interesting/amusing videos or insider tidbits about the campaign trail, but I’m extremely annoyed that posters take themselves and their little opinions way too seriously and berate those who dare think differently. As impressive as the work displayed on this blog is, I think a little humility and respect toward other points of view would go a long way.

  • Chris

    I’m not trying to convince you to change your thoughts at all. Sorry if it came across that way. It just seems to me the film is a clear underdog unless it wins the DGA.

    Sadly I can’t see the academy awarding Spielberg his 3rd Oscar for this film when he’s done better work.

  • Zach

    @Archie, no, DDL will be the second actor from a Spielberg film to win an Oscar, because TLJ will win earlier in the night.

    @John H. Foote, yes to it all.

    @CJ, thanks for the Burtt video. Now that I think about it though, Les Mis might be the one to beat in Sound Mixing, considering how everything was recorded live and the Academy loves musicals in this category. Someday when I have more time, I will have to look at how often the Academy gives Sound Mixing to a film not also nominated in Sound Editing, especially when there is at least one film that year nominated for both.

  • Scott (the other one)

    Sasha — In your response to Zach’s detailed and thoughtful email about Lincoln, in which one of the things he did was criticize the ending of the movie partly, you gliblysuggest that it is just cause he is a guy and all guys think alike and respond the same way.

    1. Instead of responding to Zach with an ad hominem attack about his character and motives, why not respond to his reasoned comments with reasoned comments?

    2. If someone had said to you that you had a response to a movie not because you are an intelleigent and thoughtful moviegoer but because you are a woman and all women would have that reaction, wouldn’t you find that offensive?

    3. Why is it okay for you, just a few posts before Zach’s, to complain about the “sappy ending” of Schindler’s list, and yet it is not okay for others to criticize the ending of Lincoln? Why are those who are critical of Lincoln’s ending just thoughtless boys having typical boys’ reactions, but your response to the ending of Schindler’s List is thoughtful, reasoned, etc.????

    4. Sentimentality is a consistent flaw in Spielberg’s work — this is not something just “boys” have said, but something that many critics and commentators have noted. As Wallace Stevens famously said, “Sentimentality is not feeling. Sentimentality is the FAILURE of feeling.” Sentimentality is unearned, cheap emotion. A film like Amour — austere, subtle — is far more moving because it does not use cliches and cheap tricks to produce an emotional response. I thought much of Lincoln was very moving, subtle, and very well done — but the ending was in my opinion cheesy and unnecessary.

    5. It is kind of ironic that you characterize boys’ negative reactions to Spielberg when the most common criticism of Spielberg is that he makes movies that only boys, and not adults, like.

    6. Every year, you become truly aggressive, belligerent, closed-minded, and insulting about the film from that year that you happen to worship. In 2010 it was The Social Network. This year it is Lincoln. Anyone who doesn’t like it or criticizes any aspect of it is a bore, an idiot, an adolescent, not worth talking to, and lacking in any taste. I’m glad you found Lincoln so wonderful — we all love movies and it is a great experience to be so moved by a movie. But those of us who dare to criticize it are allowed to express our views and have a reasoned discussion about our views. Grow up — you are behaving like … little girl do.

  • Nic V

    ***No problem Nic V., I’ll be happy to if you round them up for me!***

    If that’s a play on words it was really a rather poor choice. If it was a joke then it fell rather flat.

  • “5. It is kind of ironic that you characterize boys’ negative reactions to Spielberg when the most common criticism of Spielberg is that he makes movies that only boys, and not adults, like.”


    There is such a criticism, which doesn’t mean it is true.

    I haven’t seen any empiric data showing only boys comprise the fan base of Spielberg’s works.

    Maybe I am mistaken in thinking adults admire such diverse films as Jaws, E.T., Close Encounters, Schindler’s List, Lincoln and such.

    All lists that include them as great films, all countless positive reviews, all awards groups that have rewarded them throughout the decades, all academic works on them are created by infants.

    Surely five year old brats are the only ones who will appreciate the contents of such a philosophical boy-toy romp like A.I.


  • “As Wallace Stevens famously said, “Sentimentality is not feeling. Sentimentality is the FAILURE of feeling.” Sentimentality is unearned, cheap emotion. ”

    First, thanks for appealing to authority.

    Second, thanks for sharing your opinion on sentimentality.

    Third, what makes you think the emotion in Spielberg’s work is perceived as “sentimentality” by everybody else? Please, don’t speak for me, pal. What may come off as cloying and artificial for you might hit some genuine emotional chords in others. Such criticism is idiotic because it is based on terms that are too subjective. Detractors like you just repeat such objections without even attempting to understand what the hell they even mean.

  • For Scott (the other one) — the tears I have shed at many Spielberg films are very real and the result of the director tapping into a deep emotional core within my soul — I do not fall easily for easy sentimentality — his films hit me hard, and do so honestly and with great power — I remember being awed to tears by the last forty five minutes of close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), weeping like a child as Elliott bade farewell to his friend in E.T. (1982) — weeping as Jamie is pulled into an embrace by his mother at the end of empire of the Sun (1987) — being shattered by sheer power of Schindler’s List (1993) — breaking apart as Tom Hanks did after the death of wade in Saving Private Ryan (1998) — feeling the pain of Di Caprio upon learning of his fathers death in Catch Me If You Can (2002), and watching in disbelief as Lincoln came to life before my eyes in his new, superb film, Lincoln (2012) — has he made errors along the way? Of course, how else could he evolve as an artist, and who has not — but when he is on his game, as he was with the magnificent Lincoln (2012), there is no one better. The post above speaks volumes for me as well as many others….don’t speak for me….

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