NY Post relies on random comment from audience member as Lincoln Test Screens in Jersey

If you ask most people (a.k.a. the white male majority that covers film criticism now and holds most of the power that drives the US film industry to churn out the kind of crap it does every summer) what they think of Lincoln they will tell you probably something similar to what this anonymous dude wandering out of a screening just transmitted to the NY Post’s Lou Lumenick, who then posted it as credible:

“The performances of Daniel Day-Lewis, Tommy Lee Jones, and Hal Holbrook were great,” wrote this person, a passionate moviegoer who is not connected with the film industry, who flatly predicts that Day-Lewis will get a Best [Actor] nomination in the title role. “Sally Field was miscast as Mrs. Lincoln, Joseph Gordon Levitt as Lincoln’s eldest son was OK but he really didn’t add anything to the story.

“My biggest issue with the film as a whole was, it was boring,” this civilian viewer wrote. “With the film centering on the vote for the 13th amendment, ending slavery and the Civil War, you’d think Spielberg would have made a more exciting, riveting film. So much of the story takes place in small, smoky dark rooms with Lincoln talking to one or two people, that my mind began to wander. It felt claustrophobic.

If he had shown the horrors of slavery and the Civil War, it might have evened out the story. They pretty much kept the film centered around the politicians.”

So what I know about this person so far is that A) he was close personal friends with Mrs. Lincoln so he therefore knows with certainty Sally Field was miscast. B) He has a hard time paying attention. All the President’s Men would have been a tough sit for this guy. God forbid he should be forced to watch 12 Angry Men or The Philadelphia Story, or Rope. People talking, not his favorite thing. Not enough bombs and bloody mayhem, C) he fancies himself a blogger/critic — he uses the word “issue,” a dead giveaway.

The guy is obviously not dumb. whoever he is. He’s at ease with the lingo of facile dismissal. But that’s just it. Who is he? How do we know he isn’t a studio plant? We know nothing about him and yet — he was able to change the word on a movie just by sending an email to Lumenick. Sure, there is a good chance it’s just some guy who wanted to tell the world how boring Lincoln was. In my experience, though, it is never just some guy. I have gotten those same kinds of “reviews” over the many years I’ve been at this. I used to post them, too, way back when.  Now I realize how destructive it is — not to the movie or the studio or the director — but to journalism itself. I don’t call myself one but I do have a few rules I don’t break.  And one is to post reactions from anonymous test screenings, or even pop-up screenings. I wait for the actual reviews, or better, to see it for myself.

Joe the Slammer’s complaint that the film is “boring” is very likely to match most of the 18- to 35-year-old males who are expected to turn out for the film (minus the Spielberg fans, of which there are many).   What this pseudo-review does do, though, is get the information out there that it’s not going to be about slavery and civil war battles but more about the politics behind freeing the slaves, how difficult that was at the time and that it, in the end, cost Lincoln his life.  So in that way, it prepares audiences to alter their expectations.

Perhaps the film will be “boring” to people who long to check their cell phone for the latest status updates and who are so disconnected from history that the subject matter alone would never hold their interest.  There is a reason we have the kind of films we have now.

Readers here (I hope) know that I’m no Spielberg apologist.  If I’m anything I’m a Lincoln apologist (he who doesn’t need one). I trashed War Horse, I can’t stand Always and I believe Shakespeare in Love was better than Saving Private Ryan. That didn’t stop Richard Rushfield from tweeting this: “come join us sasha! the house of speilberg skepticism has many mansions.” And Mark Graham echoed that false sentiment, saying he was #teamrushfield. Yes, that’s how Twitter works. Rushfield went on to say Spielberg should stick to dinos and aliens. That it was all too serious. That it could never be art, etc.

The truth is, the predestined expectation from Rushfield and Wells is that the film WILL be boring.That a shallow anonymous impression can fuel the smouldering embers of disdain says less about the movie and more about the inflammatory tinderbox of Twitter’s dry underbrush.   Not only did it not have to be written at all but the guy didn’t even have to see the movie to have written it.  My prediction is that the equally jaded film critics will probably give a similar review.  I am old enough now that I have seen this scenario so many times I can tell you how it begins and ends.  This is a symptom of what I like to call “frontrunner’s syndrome.” If you are the frontrunner, you will be a giant target at the outset of the race. This is why you always want to be the movie nobody sees coming because if they see you coming they will take a shot.

The movies that have the highest expectations have the hardest time. The movies with the lowest tend to do better and even win. That’s how we humans behave. We don’t like to accept foregone conclusions so we rail against what people think we’re going to do.

All of that nonsense, though, we should remember, has nothing to do with reality. It is all about perception. My hope this year was that somehow it being the subject of Lincoln, being adapted by Tony Kushner from Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book  that there would be less of the same old shit.

But yet here it is. Same shit, different day.  There are voices that matter and those that don’t.   If you want to forget about this nonsense and listen to something worthwhile, head on over to The Story and listen to this.

THE EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION AT 150:

VOICES THEN AND NOW

Fountain Hughes

Today, stories of slavery and fighting for a place in America. We hear from 101-year-old Fountain Hughes about his childhood as a slave. He says that if the threat of enslavement returned, he would shoot himself rather than be a slave again.

[ExSlave Narratives are a courtesy of the American Folklife Center’s Archive of Folk Culture, available at the Voices from the Days of Slavery presentation.]

GUARDING JAMES MEREDITH: LT. HENRY GALLAGHER

Host Dick Gordon looks at the moment in Mississippi’s history when whites fought against integration at Ole Miss. We begin with an excerpt from the documentary “State of Siege” from American Radio Works to set the scene for what was happening in 1962. This was produced by Kate Ellis and Stephen Smith.

James Meredith Ole Miss

Dick speaks with Henry Gallagher who was sent with other soldiers during the violent resistance to integration in l962 to keep the peace and protect James Meredith as he began to attend classes at the University of Mississippi. There were riots on campus and President Kennedy called in the troops. Henry is the author of James Meredith and the Ole Miss Riot.

NOBODY KNOWS MY NAME: JAMES BALDWIN

We listen in on an archived conversation between the late writer James Baldwin and radio host Studs Terkel. The Harlem born James Baldwin describes how he came to terms with being a black man in America, and it involved leaving the country for a time. Thanks to the Chicago History Museum and Highbridge Audio.

133 Comments on this Post

  1. Jake G!!!

    This guys probably young, and doesnt appreciate cinema, or historical fims! How does he know Sally Field was miscast? Shes prolly good.

  2. Ryan Adams

    The “miscast” crack invalidates the guy altogether. Spielberg does not miscast roles.

  3. Kevin Klawitter

    I think this basically amounts to people not getting the movie they want. When people hear “Spielberg” and “Lincoln” they imagine a sweeping historical epic with grand speeches, spectacle, and battle scenes.

    Basically, “Amistad”. Not a [i]bad[/i] movie by any measure, but not one of Spielberg’s best, and even [i]he[/i] admits it is too stodgy and stiff.

    What they don’t expect (even though it’s been repeated endlessly through the film’s production) is a 19th-century political drama about passing important legislation in a hopelessly divided government. They think there’s something inherently wrong with a movie about people in rooms talking, as if ideas and debates can’t be as exciting as cannon fire and bayonet fights.

    There is probably a point to be made about the importance of showing the horrors of slavery, but, of course, I haven’t seen the movie, so I don’t know how it handles the subject, or how or if additional scenes about it would fit in to the narrative.

    Overall, though, this is just another story of journalists seizing the most negative quote he could find and running with it, because negativity gets more hits than praise.

  4. Some might argue that casting Sally Field at all is a grave miscasting.

  5. Also, if Lou Lumenick receives a similar response from an anonymous attendee after a screening of Django Unchained, and it’s an expression of utter delight, we’ll all know whom it’s from. A greater focus on slavery, and, whether or not it’ll be good, it’ll certainly not be boring. You know it’ll definitely be talky too, though.

  6. Sally Field is miscast because Sally Field is terrible. A good friend of mine been’s calling for this movie to sweep the Oscars since last year, huge fan of Munich/Spielberg/DDL, and the one point of contention was always, “God, I wish Sally Field wasn’t in this, though”.

  7. Ryan Adams

    A good friend of mine been’s calling for this movie to sweep the Oscars since last year, huge fan of Munich/Spielberg/DDL, and the one point of contention was always, “God, I wish Sally Field wasn’t in this, though”.

    hey, wow, I think Lou Loumenick knows someone who’s the perfect soul mate for your friend.

  8. Ryan Adams

    Here’s an idea. Let’s all pick a friend, phone them up, ask them what they think of Sally Field. Report back here in one hour. Go!

    by golly, we’ll get to the bottom of this

  9. You should put up a poll since you’re so concerned about it. Anyone who visits this site must first be asked their opinion on Sally Field.

    “I love Sally Field! What a wonderful actress!”
    “I hate Sally Field! She’s been sleepwalking through every role she’s been in for two decades!”
    “Isn’t that Forest Gump’s mom? Wait, was she in the Spider-Man movie?”
    “I REALLY DISLIKE LEONARDO DICAPRIO!”

  10. Ryan Adams

    You should put up a poll since you’re so concerned about it.

    Jeremy, I’m totally unconcerned about it.

    I’m just making an observation: Here’s Sasha writing about how meaningless it is to quote the shallow opinion of a random nobody, and your contribution is to quote the shallow opinion of your nobody friend.

    Really helpful. Thanks. I’m sure your friend is a fine fellow. I believe you’re missing the point.

  11. It was probably rufus.

  12. Hi Sasha,

    I have also read these in Hollywood-elswhere, IMDB.

    1. The guy who says Filed is miscast is probably Lincoln’s scholar or reincarnation of someone who lived during Lincoln’s era :)

    2. They said War Horse has a lot of war scenes and we don’t love it. And now they say otherwise.

    I really can’t stand this Jeff Wells. Don’t you know Sasha, why he hates Spielberg so?

  13. “Readers here (I hope) know that I’m no Spielberg apologist…. I trashed War Horse, I can’t stand Always and I believe Shakespeare in Love was better than Saving Private Ryan.”

    We’d better give you the new combination to the bunker door, Sasha.

    I wouldn’t take the word of a twenty-something ADD-er who was Mary Todd’s poolbuy in another dimension. No serious critique (film or otherwise) calls for atrocities to balance the storytelling or uses “boring”, “OK but didn’t add anything”, or combines “riveting” and “exciting” in the same sentence, especially with a “ya wudda thought” sentiment.

    Bogus.

  14. @Jake G!!!
    “How does he know Sally Field was miscast? Shes prolly good.” How do you know she wasn’t miscast? You’re making assumptions based on not seeing the film.

    @Sasha Stone,
    If you don’t think he’s opinion is credible, why report on it? It may be possible someone loves All the President’s Men and hates Lincoln (shocking, I know).

    Perhaps this guy couldn’t articulate why it was boring, but I’ll suspect it could be because: 1. Kushner’s dialogue wasn’t riveting or complex to carry the film on its own; 2. the subject material may be at fault* ; and 3. Spielberg and Kushner might have failed to give the character’s a moving subplot to connect with the audience.

    *We know slavery is bad so unless someone can make a convincing case otherwise, the morality at the center of debate is widely accepted and may be dramatically inert. There may not be scenes like in The Master where PSH explains why he’s refusing to defend his beliefs.

  15. ^ JasonB, that’s as close to a confession as we’re gonna get.

  16. Ryan Adams

    Perhaps this guy couldn’t articulate why it was boring

    then by all means, let’s publish his flat nebulous thoughts in a major newspaper and set it up as an “early review”

  17. “Really helpful. Thanks. I’m sure your friend is a fine fellow. I believe you’re missing the point.”

    I think it’s possible to grasp the point(“Golly gee, I wish people weren’t predestined to dislike movies I’m predicting to be good!”) and still observe that Sally Field being a terrible actress is not exactly the stuff predestined “haters” are made of. This article is made of several parts and several, and I decided to chime in one section, instead of, oh I don’t know, trying to negatively characterize this random guy who didn’t like a movie you were lookin’ forward to.

  18. @ Jason B

    Maybe this guy wasn’t even in test screening

  19. @Ryan Adams,

    Then why was Sasha’s post almost solely aimed at eviscerating this guy’s opinion? And not at whether a major newspaper should use more credible sources? And it’s New York Post… come on, please.

    Plus, the real story from this article is why Spielberg decided to allow test screening of Lincoln if he’s so against test screenings?

    AND, did Sasha somehow miss this: “So take this with at least a grain of salt… and, keep in mind, this is one nonprofessional’s opinion. And as Spielberg notes, test screenings can be deceiving. “Close Encounters” certainly worked out OK.”

  20. @ mecid,

    So what’s your point? That this journalist may not have spoken to him at all? That’s fine, that’s why you take such things with a “grain of salt”, as the NY Post article says. I hope you read the full article, where it goes on to say that sometimes test screenings can be deceiving too, it asks people to make quick judgments, which often are inaccurate or undeveloped. Yet, I bet you’ll find those on Awards Daily, in most newspapers, and just about everywhere.

  21. What about these posts:

    – Great film. Watching the film and watching Daniel Day lewis you really thought you were watching Abraham Lincoln. Much different than any Steven Speilberg film I have ever seen. Highly recommended especially if you enjoy movies about history.

    – I am a bit worried that that guy said it was ‘boring’. But I don’t know how one can say three of the main actors give great performances and then still be bored. James stated that this was unlike any other Spielberg film (presumably that means its not like war horse–which people think is corny, or like Amistad (which people think is too stodgy and filled with corny speeches). Perhaps, this guy from NY Post just wanted more Spielberg epicness…
    By the way, I loved There Will Be Blood and lots of people thought that was boring.

    – I thought Sally Field looked great.

  22. @ Jason B

    i see you have already camped against Lincoln. Was not you that guy?

  23. Ryan Adams

    Sally Field being a terrible actress is not exactly the stuff predestined “haters” are made of.

    I guess I fail to see how quoting your friend’s dislike of Sally Field that.

    This guy who Lou Loumenick dug up, why should we give a shit what he thinks? No offense to your friend, Jeremy, but why should we care what your friend thinks?

    I’m fairly interested in what you think. (though marginally less so right now than I might have been an hour ago). I’m interested in what Paddy M thinks because I’ve “known” Paddy M for a long time and it helps me to swallow blunt announcements when they’re handed down with a dollop or wit, as Paddy M is able to do.

    But opinions like this mean shit to me:
    “I wish Sally Field wasn’t in it!” — somebody I don’t know
    “Sally Field is miscast.” — somebody else I don’t know.

    The point of this article is about how random anonymous opinions bubble up on the net and the blow-flies of bad buzz are attracted to those dubious droppings.

    And you chime in by offering another friendly turd.

  24. Just for that, I hope Sally Field (who does not suck) wins Best Supporting Actress

  25. @ mecid

    I’m not “camped” out against Lincoln. I’m withholding judgment of Lincoln until I see it. I wasn’t impressed by the trailer, though.

    I love Tony Kusher, Daniel Day-Lewis and Janusz Kaminski, so I hope it’s good. I’m just anticipating some of the challenges they might have to overcome with adapting Lincoln to the screen and perhaps why this person might not have enjoyed it.

  26. If we judge from test screening reviews, then i have seen 5 or 6 reviews, 1 being negative “everythin is amazing but film is boring”.

  27. Ryan Adams

    I haven’t seen 3 seconds of Sally Field’s performance, but I’m not afraid to say I cocked an eyebrow when I heard she was cast. But I think perhaps if I don’t make up my mind that I wish she wasn’t in the movie, then perhaps it will me accept it and cope accordingly when I see that she is.

    I’ll admit, the chirpy fussy agitation Sally Field can sometimes project would seem to fit uncomfortably amidst the somber statesmanlike intonations of the other actors in the movie.

    But you know who else was an uncomfortable fit? The chirpy fussy agitation of Mary Todd Lincoln in the White House in 1863.

  28. @Ryan: If this same nobody came out of the theater with an eloquent, witty review that went into the thematic depths of Kusher’s screenplay, or the rich visual language of the shots Spielberg chose, would it change anything, or would you throw it out just the same? At the end of the day, it’s just some guy’s opinion of a movie, for sites like this one to dig up and throw to the hogs. “He’s probably too young!” “Who gives a shit what some ADD kid thinks!?” “Spielberg would NEVER miscast, his opinion is wrong!” It’s this kind of weird psychoanalysis you see whenever anybody disagree with a Pauline Kael review. It gets to a point you might as well guess if she was on her period or not when she saw the film.

  29. Ryan Adams

    If this same nobody came out of the theater with an eloquent, witty review that went into the thematic depths of Kusher’s screenplay, or the rich visual language of the shots Spielberg chose, would it change anything, or would you throw it out just the same?

    Link. Let’s see it.

    If he’s so eloquent, makes me wonder why you choose to introduce us to your friend with a quote that makes him sound simpleminded.

    But I’m ready to consider more evidence if you’ve got it.

  30. @Ryan Adams

    Sounds like you might have written a more direct article about what is really bothering you than what is posted here. But that’s not what Sasha started off writing.

    For example,
    “If you ask most people (a.k.a. the white male majority that covers film criticism now)… what they think of Lincoln they will tell you probably something similar to what this anonymous dude… just transmitted”

    I’ll ignore the uncalled for racist and sexist implications of her opening line, and focus on how she immediately attacks the person for being a casual moviegoer. Not everyone is a film scholar and that never has stopped people from sharing their opinions about a movie. Like the NY Post article said, take it “with a grain of salt”.

    Ryan, I can understand your apprehension towards Lou’s journalism. To me, it just seems like filler on a slow news day. Most people would likely ignore it since NY Post is mostly read by people bored on the subway.

  31. Ryan Adams

    “Spielberg would NEVER miscast!”

    oh, I get it. Is that a dig? That’s supposed to sting me and reveal me as a fraud?

    I’m only going by the evidence of two dozen hugely entertaining Spielberg films where the casting from star leads down to the smallest roles was spot on and note perfect.

    (There are weaker performances in some of the weaker movies, but that’s not a problem with casting. I seriously doubt if Joseph Gordon-Levitt playing Indy’s kid could have single-handedly rescued the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.)

    I’ll say it again: “Spielberg doesn’t miscast roles.”

    Go tell your friend I said so. I’m confident he won’t give a damn. It would be awesome if your friend is the assistant editor at a website and you two clutter up the comments pages over there, fighting about what you told him I said.

  32. Things are this bitchy here and it’s September? What’s it gonna be like in the New Year?!?

    If it comes down to Meryl Streep in Hope Springs vs. Viola Davis in Won’t Back Down, I’m going into hiding.

    It won’t obvs. But imagine it did!

  33. The guy’s not supposed to be an industry insider, is asked for his opinion and gives it. And then you make a bunch of assumptions about him after not allowing him to say Field was miscast unless he knew Mrs. Lincoln personally. That’s like Ma Kettle calling Pa Kettle white.

  34. You won’t comment on anonymous reactions (even though that is what you are inadvertently doing now), but wait for reviews from the “white male majority that covers film criticism now and holds most of the power that drives the US film industry to churn out the kind of crap it does every summer.” A wee bit confusing.

  35. Ryan Adams

    Vince, Read that line again.

    The way I took it, Sasha is making a direct connection between this anonymous reaction and some of the “white male majority” of movies writers we all know through their blogs and on Twitter. It’s these guys in the boys’ club who have latched onto the opinion of Mr. NoName as their star witness for the case they’ve been building against Lincoln.

    After all, it was one of these white male movie critics (Lou Lumenick) who saw fit to spotlight this anonymous reaction on his own blog. The “story” was then picked up as if it’s credible news by a dozen other white male movie writers on their blogs, who reprint the vague ramblings like a prophecy, a shared revelation passed along among the movie Illuminati.

    You’d know this if you’d spent time on twitter today.

    dude, it’s like you’re not even TRYING be part of the white male majority of movie writers.

    :-)

  36. Thank you for the explanation, Ryan.

    I’m a wee bit out of touch.

    ;)

  37. After reading this article (and for the most part agreeing) am I the only one that thinks it would be halarious if once the film comes out critics actually agree with the miscasting of Sally Field, and this ‘source’ was right?

  38. Ryan Adams

    Jason B. I see where you’re coming from, but I wonder if maybe you didn’t misinterpret the first few lines of Sasha’s piece the same way Vince did.

    We’re trying to refute or at least balance the prevailing white male notion about how Lincoln looks in the trailer.

    You’re right, nobody needs to be a film scholar to evaluate a movie, but we should expect movie writers in reputable positions not to fall hook line and sinker for the first negative impression that comes along (to back up their preconceived bias)

    The only reason we ever heard what this joker at the screening thinks is because his opinion spread like an infection from Lou Lumenick to flare up like a bad rash on the butt of Jeff Wells subsequently scratched by Richard Rushfield and a lot of other guys in the white male movie-writer bloggeratti.

    I believe the reason Sasha wanted to bring it up is her desire to prescribe an ointment to this silly thing before somebody’s dick rots off.

    It’s not so hard for me to see what Sasha is driving at because part of the advantage of my geography and circumstance is that I don’t run around with that particular gang of white male elitists.

    hey, I’m white male elitist in my own way. But I’m not part of that crowd because I’m gay. Maybe simple as that.

  39. Ryan Adams

    am I the only one that thinks it would be halarious if once the film comes out critics actually agree with the miscasting of Sally Field, and this ‘source’ was right?

    It would be hilariously horrifying. I’ll be first to gasp and concede if that happens. But I don’t think it will.

  40. So as I said in the trailer thread, it seems that if anyone says anything bad about Lincoln in any way they get belittled or blasted by Sasha and many others on here. Good to know…

    Again, to the majority of you who haven’t seen the film, how is championing the film sight unseen any different from trashing it? To me, the flaw exists on both ends.

  41. This piece is confusing. It slams critics, it slams average moviegoers. I’m not sure what it’s trying to say other than nothing anyone says matters…..except I guess this post matters.

    I could see someone thinking Sally Field might be miscast b/c she’s nearly 20 years older than Mary Todd Lincoln was at the time. MTL was about 46 or 47 I think and SF is 65.

  42. I found Sally Field to be a slightly curious casting, which makes me think Spielberg wouldn’t have cast her unless he was really confident in his choice/reason for doing so. Maybe it was a miscalculation on his part, but hasn’t cast a zillion films? Or maybe he has a soft spot for her, or maybe she holds some deep dark secret about him, and she came to collect on blackmail?

    I have a soft spot for Sally Field. No matter how melodramatic, I love her breakdown at the end of Steel Magnolias. She’s an American treasure folks. Don’t write her off just yet. Spielberg wouldn’t pull out Sally unless he knew she would be good for the role. Or would he?

  43. RE: Sally Field’s Age

    I noted her age upon casting and initially thought it strange that she should play opposite Daniel Day-Lewis, being ten years his senior, when, in reality, the characters they were portraying were complete opposite of that discrepancy. But, then, perhaps Spielberg was going for a specific chemistry in the way he wanted to portray his two married leads. Just a theory.

    To be honest, I don’t sense that there will be any sexual energy between the two actors. I could be wrong. I’ll have to see the film to test my instincts. But, if that is indeed the case, that is perhaps what Spielberg was going for. There were those gay rumors, anyway. I haven’t read the book the film is based on, either, so I’m completely uninformed on this matter.

  44. Bob Burns

    One thing Lincoln had going for him… the southerners had resigned from congress.

    Imagine what this country could be like without conservative (racist) southern politicians.

  45. I have to agree with Andrew. Sally Field is a treasure. Perhaps she is held in less esteem due to her “over-awarding”? She’s not the most versatile when you compare her to someone like Meryl Streep. But, she does have the histrionics-thing down, whether we’re talking drama, comedy, or both. Quite talented, she is. I wonder if I will be speaking of Hilary Swank the same way decades from now.

  46. I just wonder if some might not get Sally’s age out of their head, but we can all be real clear on the fact that MTL was rough looking by all photographic accounts and people in general looked much older than they were back in those days without night cream and botox. Sally Field probably actually looks younger than old girl did….but that isn’t gonna stop viewers from knowing how old SF is and having a hard time pushing it back, unless of course Sally Field is awesome and you forget you are watching Sally Field.

    I thought I was gonna have a hard time watching Milk without just seeing Sean Penn, it was a senseless worry.

  47. And blow me over….cinesnatch has a name. I hope that handle isn’t gone forever, it was my favorite on this site.

  48. LOL, thanks, Mel. Can’t say what the future holds. :)

  49. Tero Heikkinen

    I was just watching The World According to Garp on TV. You know, Glenn Close (born 1947) plays Robin Williams’ (born 1951) mother and it doesn’t hurt one bit. In fact, Glenn was nominated for an Oscar.

    Age is just numbers.

  50. You’d know this if you’d spent time on twitter today.

    That’s why I’ve said in the past that Sasha seems to carry twitter fights over here where we don’t know what she’s fighting about. We don’t all follow the same people and having a twitter account at all shouldn’t be necessary for understanding an article on this website or any other. It’s like joining a program already in progress.

    ftr, I haven’t liked Sally Field since she started pushing drugs.

  51. And why exactly do we care about this civilian reviewer? Lucky for him your article revolving around his piece has brought it to the attention of a much wider audience. I found his critique (and yours) boring, but it might be because I’m a 34-year-old white male. Thankfully I’ll be moving out of that demographic soon and will develop a greater appreciation for pointless drivel.

  52. Ryan Adams

    The article stands on its own just fine. Sasha names all the players and outlines the situation with complete clarity.

    Will a reader get more out of reading this if they’ve kept up with the news bouncing around various movie sites today? Of course — heck, the article is ABOUT the way sites have been handling this “news.”

    Naturally anybody who knows what’s happening in the wider world will understand complex arguments more readily.

    Today we found out that the OctoMom isn’t sure how to vote for President because she never heard of Mitt Romney before. Should every article about the election begin with a preface introducing Mitt Romney to everybody who’s never heard of him?

    ===

    Antoinette, I was reading an interview with William Gibson today and he mentioned something called the “Gangnam Style”

    Gangnam Style? I didn’t know what that was. But I didn’t cry about it. I looked it up. I found out it’s that dance meme. Something I was only vaguely aware of. But I hadn’t really paid attention to the right tweets so I didn’t know what it was called.

    I didn’t complain about “Gangnam Style” being part of a program already in progress — something I would only know about if I followed the right tweets and youtube links. I just decided, hey, if this is something I’m curious about then surely I can figure out on my own how this fits together. Instead of expecting it to be spoon fed to me.

  53. The Great Dane

    Shakespeare in Love is one of the best comedies ever made. And the Best Picture that year. Even Thin Red Line was better than Ryan. :)

  54. Tero Heikkinen

    Lincoln trailer: 6 million views on YouTube
    Gangnam Style: 248 million views on YouTube

    :D

  55. Ryan Adams

    I know! Just a really bad glaring gap in my pop culture awareness. I had seen glimpses of it — and, really, 5 seconds was enough for me to know I could move on without missing much. But that meant I missed hearing what it was called.

  56. rufussondheim

    This comment actually makes me want to see this movie more. If I hear similar commentary, I might actually pay to see the movie in the theater.

    ——–

    There is valid speculation that Mrs. Lincoln was bipolar or manic depressive or something like that. I can’t think of many actresses better than Sally Field to play that kind of person, unless of course SF plays it too plucky. She’s able to not do that. We’ll see.

  57. Ryan Adams

    There is valid speculation that Mrs. Lincoln was bipolar or manic depressive or something like that. I can’t think of many actresses better than Sally Field to play that kind of person

    I tried to characterize that type of personality as “chirpy fussy agitation” — so we’re seeing the same vein Sally Field can tap into.

  58. rufussondheim

    I do agree with you here Ryan. As disfavorable as I am to Spielberg, I would never criticize him for improperly casting people.

    Perhaps if he chose a different director for his films I might actually like them!

  59. Actually it wasn’t clear why Sasha was in a tizzy over what some normal person was quoted as saying, Ryan. If it was you wouldn’t have explained it to Vince and Jason B. But keep being condescending, it’s your color.

  60. Ryan Adams

    Part of what I do around here is try to clear up confusion and misunderstandings.

    You go ahead and say Sasha’s sincere concern is just a tizzy, then pretend it’s everybody else who’s condescending.

  61. Ryan Adams

    why is Sasha in a tizzy over what some normal person was quoted as saying.

    Antoinette. Read your own 15 words. Read the headline.

    The New York Post film critic is quoting a random audience member in order to evaluate a movie. That’s clear right?

    How is that confusing?

  62. You just like fighting Ryan. I didn’t say “just” a tizzy. You did. Being in a tizzy means she was upset about it. I didn’t say if it was valid, invalid, sincere or insincere. You like to stoke the flames by adding things to what people said that’s not there. I was just referring to the fact that there have been times when articles pop up that seem to come out of nowhere. This also being one of those times. If you disagree, fine. I was pointing out why sometimes some of us don’t know where it’s coming from. But I don’t bother using the second person any longer and just used her name because we all know who’s going to respond.

  63. What I said: “Actually it wasn’t clear why Sasha was in a tizzy over what some normal person was quoted as saying, Ryan.”

    How you changed it: “why is Sasha in a tizzy over what some normal person was quoted as saying.”

    Do you not see that you do that, Ryan?

  64. Ryan Adams

    ^
    Nope, I didn’t realize I did that. I was typing and casually transcribing. Not copying and pasting. Just innocently typing.

    It’s a minor paraphrase, right? Have I seriously misrepresented what you meant, Antoinette? Have I horribly twisted your words around?

    If not, then you’ll need to explain to me what’s the scope and severity of this problem you’re on my butt about now.

  65. Ryan Adams

    Being in a tizzy means she was upset about it.

    Cute.

    You want us to believe you use “upset” and “in a tizzy” interchangeably? No condescending shade of meaning at all, right?

    TIZZY
    : a highly excited and distracted state of mind

    She’s always getting in a tizzy over minor things.
    All in a tizzy because she can’t find her car keys.

  66. I’m not going to let you or anyone else misquote me. Not that anyone else ever does.

  67. Actually, Sally Field is miscast. Completely miscast in my opinion.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Todd_Lincoln

    Mary Todd was 10 years younger than Lincoln, not ten years older. Field doesn’t really bear a resemblance to her either, so it’s not like she was cast for that reason. Plus both the trailer and this person’s reaction would lead us to believe that Day-Lewis and her just don’t have chemistry as a couple. I’m not sure why this person’s opinion should be completely invalidated, especially when they’re expressing criticism over something I always thought to be an obvious misstep in casting.

    Look, we all love Sally Field. We really love her (couldn’t resist), but I don’t think playing Mary Todd opposite Day Lewis was a good move, neither for her or the film. I think only time will tell whether or not this will be the opinion of the majority, but it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if it did. I’ve heard from multiple now after seeing the trailer that they thought Sally Field was too old for the part.

    Also, the guy at the screening is only doing what many critics get paid to do and the fact that he knows who Hal Holbrook is makes him just as good as most bloggers whose reviews are counted on Rotten Tomatoes. The fact that he criticizes the film for having too many scenes just between Lincoln and one or two other people and for not showing the vastness of the story would seem to me a telling sign considering the screenplay is written by someone more famous for his work in theater (and before anyone starts screaming about it, I have an immense amount of respect for Kushner). Plus, Spielberg’s previous film had the same problem so there is a legitimate reason to consider what this guy’s saying.

    After all, the real reason to take this with a grain of salt is that this ultimately represents just one person’s opinion. That being said it really isn’t fair to shoot the messenger just because his comments do not match your expectations. He’s seen the film. We have not. He wins this round.

  68. I deny that my opinion is pre-determined. I am merely responding to what is there in a trailer, no doubt approved my Mr. S, along with his tendencies when he approaches Big Topics. It’s wonderful if you can have an awareness of all that and not have it give you any advance feeling of the film one way or another. My mind is not capable of maintaining such purity. BUT! I have seen plenty of films where I was very wary after a dreadful trailer and the film turned out to be great, and vice versa. I dont think in the end that once you’re ten minutes into seeing a movie – if the movie is any good at all – you’re still thinking about your impressions from any outside influences. But I’m not the first person to have responses to a trailer and if they are proven misplaced, that is wonderful. I would love for the movie to be good. I’d always rather see a good movie than a bad one. BUT having seen that horrendous trailer and a sense of the man’s tendencies, you’re a madperson if you are not a little wary!

    AND a good historical subject does not make a good movie. The civil war, WWII…there have been great movies about both and dreadful ones.

  69. I haven’t seen the film yet (not opened in Boston), but I thought Sally Field was the perfect choice as Mary Todd Lincoln.

  70. That person’s post:

    – “The performances of Daniel Day-Lewis, Tommy Lee Jones, and Hal Holbrook were great,” wrote this person, a passionate moviegoer who is not connected with the film industry, who flatly predicts that Day-Lewis will get a Best Picture nomination in the title role. “Sally Field was miscast as Mrs. Lincoln, Joseph Gordon Levitt as Lincoln’s eldest son was OK but he really didn’t add anything to the story.

    You see, DDL will get Best Picture nomination. Now they give BP nomiation to actors?
    Simply this man does not know anything about film industry.

  71. Jesse Crall

    The “reviewer” quoted in the New York Post is also problematic because his criticism is vague and half-assed. Sally Field was miscast? Why? It felt claustrophobic because it took place in dark rooms? How does that run counter to the goals of the storytelling? Does Spielberg choose the wrong sort of canvas through which to tell his story? Why? What would have worked better?

    It’s a horseshit way to describe your problems with a movie, and a professional critic would specify the film’s faults (if any exist).

    None of us will agree on the merits and failings of every film. Neither do my most respected critics and writers. SO, I care more about someone’s rationale behind their opinion, not the opinion itself. Even if I disagree with Roger Ebert on, say, The Master, I see his points and understand why he’s letting them overwhelm his reception of the movie. This clown in Jersey doesn’t tell me anything beyond “Uh…The Boniva chick didn’t work for me.”

  72. I think you are incorrect in saying that you need to know Mrs. Lincoln to think that Sally Fields was miscast.

    At the end of the day, the character in the story is a character, and so the actress has to play the character based on the way that she functions in the script.

    According to this person, Sally Fields simply did not carry out the functions of her character as they were required by the script.

    You do not have to know Mrs. Lincoln to assess that.

  73. ‘Always’ is my favourite Spielberg film.

  74. Bob Burns

    thanks Sasha…… the creepy long knives.

  75. No matter how many movies Spielberg turns out the rest of his life, I am pretty sure I will never see him win a best picture oscar. The expectations are just too high. Highest than any other filmmaker in history and I doubt any other filmmaker will live through this again. But the good news is, who gives a fuck. As long as he keeps turning them out I’m happy. I like the oscars, I consider myself a fan of the show. But I am and always will be a bigger fan of the movies themselves.

    At the end of the day, an oscar and 50 cents will get you a cup of coffee almost anywhere.

  76. As someone who happens to be a slam poet, the name “Joe the Slammer” feels a bit reductive :p

  77. Aren’t test screenings different from “sneak peak” screenings? Test screenings are usually where the audience is ASKED to attend, though they may not know which film they are going to see. For FREE.

    Representatives of the studio stand outside megaplexes with their arms full of flyers, soliticing moviegoers to attend and also to submit to answering questions by checking off boxes in reply.

    For instance, I would not be able to get into once of these nowadays because they’d recognize me from my TV show.

    Also, I got the impression from Lou Loumenick’s article that it was a WOMAN who he was quoting. I’ll have to go back and check but he seemed to be avoiding the personal prounoun.

    Dreamworks/Disney needs a hit. And so they are being careful.

    And this is the biggest story Lou Lumenick, who David Poland calls Lou-Lou, ever broke.

  78. Ryan Adams

    You do not have to know Mrs. Lincoln to assess that.

    of course not.
    the question is why the NYPost needs help from an amateur volunteer to assess a performance and rate a movie.

  79. Robert Peters

    What bothers me and strikes me as very arrogant is that you, Ryan, call the commentator quoted by the NY Post a “nobody”. That’s a pretty high horse to fall from, you know. This guy is as much a somebody as you are and his opinion is as valid as yours. Actually I don’t get your galling tone. The trick is not minding, remember?

  80. Hey, he wanted spaceships in the film or he misundertstood it as Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.

  81. Ryan Adams

    What bothers me and strikes me as very arrogant is that you, Ryan, call the commentator quoted by the NY Post a “nobody”.

    oh please. yes yes, he’s a unique snowflake. Happy?

  82. Ryan Adams

    And this is the biggest story Lou Lumenick, who David Poland calls Lou-Lou, ever broke.

    this is a breaking news story now?

    I’m sure you see the problem with that phrasing, Stephen. All Lumenick did was pull a random stranger’s viewpoint out of his ass. How does Lou know if he broke a story or just broke wind?

  83. @Ryan Adams

    believe it or not, and no disrespect to you guys because I am here on AwardsDaily and I do value your opinions, a lot of times when I read critic reviews of films or the performances they praise, the “professionals” sound like they know about as much as the amateur in question. I believe that in order to be a proper critic you have to be able to watch a film and take it in on an compartmentalized level as well as a whole. That’s the only way you can properly gauge the cinematography, the acting, and etc. But nowadays, you’ll see “critics” confuse their impression of a film as a whole with their impression of some component of the film.

    For example, all the critics praising JGL in The Dark Knight Rises, or Amy Adams in The Master. Those performances are average. They are shaped to give a strong impression by the components around them, but the actors themselves do not do anything so impressive as to deserve that much praise.

    So if that’s how a lot of critics carry on, WHY WOULDNT YOU count on an amateur’s reaction….it’s pretty much the same thing.

  84. Ryan Adams

    a lot of times when I read critic reviews of films or the performances they praise, the “professionals” sound like they know about as much as the amateur in question.

    If you know where to find a professional critic who has no more to say than “the film as a whole is boring” or pout about how an actor’s presence “didn’t add much to the story” then you should probably un-bookmark that professional from your browser and stop wasting your time at that publication.

    Seriously, VVS. Stop reading any critic who says, “too much talk, talk, talk in dark rooms!”

    Life’s too short.

  85. Too muc talk in dark room.

    we have seen the rooms in trailer. Are they dark or that guy wanted electric lights? it was first used in 1879 or 14 years after Lincoln’s death by T.Edison.

  86. Re: Ms. Fields – I doubt she has much screen time.

  87. Ryan Adams

    hey Mr. Lincoln, if you and your friends want to do your talking, can’t you get outside in the sunshine to do it? And while you’re outside, how about play a game of baseball? Everybody loves a good baseball movie.

  88. This “dark room” topic is very ridiculous. In every movie we can see “dark rooms”. It seems this guy is really troll.

  89. Ryan Adams

    Screenwriter Pro Tip: If you insist on having people talk in dark smokey rooms, try to be sure one of them is a troubled priest and another one is possessed by the Devil.

  90. Robert Peters

    “oh please. yes yes, he’s a unique snowflake. Happy?”

    Pretty pathetic answer and, for a self-proclaimed professional, pretty short-tempered, too, don’t you think? But, apart from your bad manners, it betrays your elitist conviction that cinema belongs to the “professional”. God, grow up, please. Look up the etymology of “amateur”. There’s a lot you can learn from the oh so simple “nobodies” who love film whereas some “professionals” just love to ejaculate half-witty one-liners.

  91. Ryan Adams

    Look up the etymology of “amateur”

    Look up the definition of “nobody” — it simply means a person with no influence.

    I’m not saying the guy’s a worthless human being. Only that it’s dumb for a major film critic to spotlight the meaningless opinion of a nobody. Thanks, Lou. I can find the IMDb message boards on my own.

  92. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9o6BXfBgWLU&feature=player_embedded

    New Life of Pi trailer. Looks like what Julie Taymor was trying to do with The Tempest, and didn’t.

  93. Tero Heikkinen

    Hmm. Life of Pi looks seriously better in that trailer. It will not be a bad film, for sure. But HOW good will it be? I’m still gonna keep it out from my predictions for BP.

  94. Ryan, why don’t you step outside and get some fresh air — you seem to be hyperventilating.

    Also, why do you and Sasha find it so strange that the NYPost decided to publish one viewer’s first impression of a highly anticipated film? It’s the best we have until the film is actually seen. Lou also seemed to make his best efforts to minimize the importance of the review, telling us to take the review with a “grain of salt” and to “keep in mind” that it was only “one non-professional’s opinion.” That kind of language makes me think Lou thought of it as anything but “credible,” contrary to what Sasha said in her opening. Sasha also goes on to say that Lou’s publishing of this review “change[d] the word on the movie,” but the comments section of the trailer posted on this site a few days ago seemed to express similar sentiment just on the basis of the 2 minute clip.

    I still can’t wait to see this film and I’ll reserve judgment on whether Sally Field was miscast until I actually see it.

  95. Ryan Adams

    why do you and Sasha find it so strange that the NYPost decided to publish one viewer’s first impression of a highly anticipated film?

    I find it strange because no newspaper ever does that, which makes it unusual, atypical, abnormal, peculiar and strange.

    In short, I find it strange because it’s strange.

  96. was it actually in the newspaper or did it just appear on the “blog” portion of the nypost website? my understand is that it was only on the blog, and if it’s just the blog portion of the site, i’m not so sure it’s any different than joblo.com posting about test screenings for Cloud Atlas and TDKR this past year (see, e.g., http://www.joblo.com/movie-news/curious-to-know-what-kind-of-response-cloud-atlas-has-been-getting-from-recent-test-screenings).

    i’ve definitely seen test-screening reactions on blog sites through the years, but i agree — i don’t recall seeing it in a newspaper (and i don’t think the lincoln post was in the newspaper either).

  97. Ryan Adams

    Just Lou Lumenick’s blog.

    If the NY Post aspires to be more like JoBlo, they’re on the right track.

  98. “The point of this article is about how random anonymous opinions bubble up on the net and the blow-flies of bad buzz are attracted to those dubious droppings.”

    This is a very reasonable basis for a post. Sasha and Ryan don’t seem so concerned with attacking the quoted individual (though his comment in this context invites parsing). They’re rightly questioning the implications for advanced buzz of using the reporting device. The question remains valid regardless of the whether general opinion of the film following release agrees or disagrees with the guy.

  99. How about we not trash this guy? Yes, we should recognize that this guy’s “review” is just one opinion and wait to form our own until after we’ve seen the movie. However, that also requires us to recognize that it’s his opinion, which he is entitled to.

    If we don’t know who this guy is or what his biases are, there’s really no need to speculate and put him down as someone who hates films with lots of “talk.” Maybe… shock of all shocks… he could be right about Lincoln. Maybe not. We’ll have to wait until the film comes out. But this belittling of his taste and speculation of his deficits as a reviewer is just harsh.

  100. to call a person who went to see a film and has formed an opinion a nobody is rude, to say the least

  101. Scott (the other one)

    It is utterly ridiculous to say someone cannot offer the view that an actor is “miscast” as Mrs. Lincoln because he did not personally know here. so no one can say an actor is miscast as Elizabeth I, Julias Caesar, or Charles Dickens? Stoooopid.

    We get a sense of historical, and fictional, characters from learning and reading about them, and this gives us a basis to give our own opinion on whether an actor fits the role as we see it. Your suggestion that no one could say Sally Field was miscast pretty much does away with half of all film, television and theatre criticism.

    Spielberg does tend to be boring when he gets serious — he becomes sickeningly sentimental, pompous, and simplistic. “War Horse” is the latest and worst example. So “Lincoln” may well be boring. The trailer makes it look overblown and comically self-important. He should stick to kids movies, action films and scifi, where he has great skills.

    “Schindler’s List” is probably the only “serious” film he has made (since the 70s) that wasn’t embarrassing and tedious, and even that film is overrated.

  102. Ryan Adams

    It is utterly ridiculous to say someone cannot offer the view that an actor is “miscast”

    No, what’s ridiculous is saying an actor is miscast without saying why.

  103. what’s ridiculous is to obviously expect a review of, let’s say, at least a 1000 words by someone who has just left a cinema. you want to find fault with the NY Post article, you want to find fault with this “nobody”‘s opinion. heaven knows why.

  104. Ryan Adams

    what’s ridiculous is for a major film critic who’s paid a huge sum of money to write 1000-word reviews to find it useful to publish the 40-word “review” of an unidentified nobody.

    I find fault that that damn thing is the topic of conversation in the first place. Do you guys not understand the point of Sasha’s article at all?

    it’s about how simplistic shallow meaningless nonsensical “reviews” get put on the pedestal of a prominent newspaper website.

  105. @ Scott other

    It seems you hanen’t really SEEN Spielebrg films since SL.

  106. Well I personally think that the off the cuff review by whomever leaving a theater after a screening isn’t going to impact my going to see this at all. I was talking too a friend of mine recently and they said something about going to the movies this weekend and I happened to mention Lincoln. Now they are not a big film buff so when he said to me he’d heard about Lincoln I was little surprised. But actually pleasantly surprised.

    I’m not sure that I buy that what Spielberg is doing is actually test screenings as I wonder if he isn’t trying to build momentum for the film. I’m sure they could do some last minute editing or adjusting but they certainly aren’t going to can the film and remake it in time for it too open.

    Now as for Field. When they announced Field I was surprised but not unhappy about the choice. I had reasons for actually accepting the casting. Field is relatively right for the role when one considers age and her size. Of course Mary Todd was a bit heavier than Field. But Field without makeup could bear an uncanny resemblance to Mary Todd. The other thing that I thought defined the casting was that at this point [or rather what I recall from reading] Mary Todd Lincoln was dancing on the edge mentally. Remembering Field’s performance in Sybil and a few other pieces it seemed to me like almost perfect casting. So for anyone to say that she was miscast makes me completely suspect.

    I can’t recall a film of Spielberg’s where I ever questioned the casting. In fact in most instances Spielberg seems to have an uncanny ability to fill his roles with the right actors and actresses.

    I’m hoping that whatever Spielberg’s intentions are regarding these screenings it is to build the buzz.

  107. Ryan Adams

    But Field without makeup could bear an uncanny resemblance to Mary Todd. The other thing that I thought defined the casting was that at this point [or rather what I recall from reading] Mary Todd Lincoln was dancing on the edge mentally. Remembering Field’s performance in Sybil and a few other pieces it seemed to me like almost perfect casting. So for anyone to say that she was miscast makes me completely suspect.

    My feelings exactly. Will you be my Designated Buddy today?

    (to seal the deal, I fixed your 4 typos)

  108. ***But you know who else was an uncomfortable fit? The chirpy fussy agitation of Mary Todd Lincoln in the White House in 1863.***

    Perfect. Absolutely perfect Ryan. Right on the money.

  109. Does that mean you’ll always fix them and if so the deal is sealed. LOL.

    Now as to this age thing. Take a good look at Sally Field she may be 65 but she don’t look 65. Take a good look at the photographs of Mary Todd Lincoln. Mary Todd Lincoln first was never an attractive woman, even when she was particularly sane she was not exactly Miss Congeniality. Field opposite Lewis a mistake? Sorry I don’t agree with that at all.

    And I too will if I feel after seeing this that she’s wrong will jump on the “she was miscast” bandwagon but I don’t buy it. Even if her performance does not seem to match those she playing against you have too keep in mind the woman’s mental state at the time. Field should never [at this point in time historically] have a performance that resonates with the others. She was nearly demented at the time. She should almost stick out like a sore thumb. Come to think of it at that time she was probably regarded as worst than a sore thumb. They couldn’t even stand having her in the room with her husband’s body after he was assainated. As I recall they disliked having her there so much they had removed from the room.

  110. @ Nic V

    Now they are not a big film buff so when he said to me he’d heard about Lincoln I was little surprised. But actually pleasantly surprised.

    ***************

    i don’t have statistics but Lincoln trailer become one of the most watched and discussed trailer.

  111. “it’s about how simplistic shallow meaningless nonsensical “reviews” get put on the pedestal of a prominent newspaper website.”

    ryan, the trick is not minding. seriously, this is not really important. does it threaten anything except the position of people who think of themselves of “somebodies” in the world of film criticism?

  112. I think spielberg’s lincoln is something i’m enthusiastic about.. this critic who claims its boring doesnt appreciate the multi talented steven spielberg. Hes a dumb person the critic. Spielberg has done a lot of dark grown up films since schindlers list and i’m sure lincoln will be something historical. The reason why its the front runner is because of the presidential election that’s coming up and it might be a strong contender in the oscars because of the director’s name. Spielberg could do just about any movie genre as a executive producer and director

  113. Nik Grape

    Not sure why this regular Joe Schmoe is getting so bashed (“nobody”, “joker”, “troll”) for giving his opinion on a highly anticipated awards-buzzed movie.

    It’s made crystal clear that he’s not a professional, and that his views should be taken with a grain of salt (and even what he writes makes you immediately know that he’s just a regular moviegoer, not a professional in the industry) and yet somehow that makes Sasha think that he has the power “to change the word on a movie just by sending an email to Lumenick.” Really? It wasn’t even printed, it was on a blog and was posted only to get views, because EVERYONE wants to know how this movie turns out, so why not post some quick thoughts from someone’s who has actually seen it but make sure to stress that he’s not a professional? And let’s not even start about how his thoughts mimic many of those who’ve just seen the trailer so it’s not like this negative review comes as some incredible shock.

    I’m not following the anger and resentment that’s coming from AD on this one.. had the review been a completely positive one, I wonder if this article would even exist or if this “anonymous dude” would be praised.

    But since his review was negative (despite the positive stuff he said, but who cares about that) it shouldn’t be taken seriously at all because it will only add fuel to the fire for those critics who are already bashing the film without seeing it? Somehow, it’s this civilian who winds up with all the tomato juice on his face and not those professionals who are acting like amateurs? Strange.

  114. Nik Grape

    Oh and I know I used the word “review” in my post a few times, but that was a mistake, a consequence of reading the same word a hundred times in the comments sections here.

    In the NY blog post, the word “review” is never mentioned and this guy’s opinion is not a review. Just his opinion. I think that’s important to keep in mind here..

  115. There’s another aspect of this that has to be considered. First of all most actors would jump through hoops to work with Spielberg. Operative word “most”. I certainly would count Field in that category. Also Field is hard working and she’s not one to cause problems on a set or be difficult to work with. Remember they all really like her. I can’t imagine at this point that Field didn’t give Spielberg what he wanted. Fact is that Spielberg has enough money to have been able to replace Field if he needed too. Yeah there might have been some hurt feelings but I can’t imagine Spielberg just letting a film go to hell over one performance. I can’t imagine Field not working her ass off to give Spielberg what he wanted. So even is she is “miscast” the question is was she really? The film is in the can and Spielburg is not one to mess around and my bet is that she gave Spielberg what he wanted. But that’s a guess cause I haven’t seen it.

    The next thing is we’re talking about the New York Post. That ain’t the Times and it isn’t even Variety. The Daily News was a better paper than the Post.

    What did strike me as strange was where they previewed the film. Being Spielberg I might have tested it in the Princeton area but my guess is they were looking for a good cross section.

  116. Problem is not what he thinks but he has not really information about movies or he is a little action fun guy. his quote:

    “Day-Lewis will get a Best Picture nomination in the title role”

  117. Nik Grape

    @mecid: read the article again because that’s Lumenick paraphrasing the guy, not the guy himself. Most likely a typo, since even “little action fun guys” can differentiate between a Picture and an Actor.

  118. Tero Heikkinen

    Yup, Nic. It’s hard to believe this. Spielberg is great with casting, although none of them won Oscars, but there were nominees. How many, I don’t know without checking. Not too many still.

    He is a nice guy (on Hollywood standards, everybody knows this – and he could be a total prick if he wanted), so firing wouldn’t be easy. You know Eric Stoltz had to go after 5 weeks of shooting in Back to the Future, so it does happen, but mainly kept in secret. Of course Zemeckis was there as well.

    Hard to believe that Field (a major role in the film) would deliver a bad performance. Time will tell, but I am doubting this now.

    Well, Fiennes should have won, and not Jones. So, there’s one actor that should’ve won from a Spielberg film.

  119. I think it is 9.

  120. Dan Conley

    This is what I don’t like about the Oscar race — people are trashing Lincoln merely because other people who haven’t seen the film are hyping it for Oscars. Will anyone actually see the movie? I don’t mean will they pay for a ticket and sit in a theater while it displays on a screen, they will do that. Rather, I wonder if anyone will sit down, with a clear, open mind, and watch the movie for what it is and not for expectations, positive or negative, having to do with a shiny statuette or other movies by Spielberg or anger at people who have hyped or trashed too soon. I’m getting to the point where I have to tune the Oscar noise out to enjoy movies.

  121. Sally Throndsen

    This Lincoln bashing is getting old and so disappointing. It’s like there is a campaign to kill it. Just wait for the movie to come out for God’s sake.

  122. rufussondheim

    I am going to address an issue that’s been mentioned but not really discussed. And this is whether Sally Field looks like MTL. We’ve discussed the ages, we’ve discuss Ms Field’s weight and height and how she may or may not resemble her without makeup.

    This is all exciting and vibrant and important to discuss. Oh Wait, what am I saying? All of this is complete bullshit.

    Why do so many people care about the littlest things that no one should give a shit about. The only thing I care about someone’s casting is if they can be believable in the role. Since I won’t be attending a theater that has 40 foot high posters of the real Mary Todd Lincoln right next to the screen, I can be pretty sure that I won’t be so superficial as to say “Wow, Sally Field has a wrinkle next to her nose that MTL didn’t have.”

    When I saw Nixon, I never thought once that Hopkins looked like Nixon. But he nailed it and when I next saw a picture of the actual Nixon I was a bit surprised he didn’t look like Hopkins. Capturing the personality and essence of a historical figure is far more important than being able to pass for a twin.

    And if some of you out there want to respond “But I can’t get it out of my head that Sally Field is twenty years older than Daniel Day-Lewis.” I suggest you don’t. Because I will call you a fucking idiot for being so shallow.

  123. rufussondheim

    My God, I am so prematurely angry that I messed up the entire paragraph about Nixon/Hopkins. I should always proofread. It should read as thus…

    When I saw Nixon, I never thought once that Hopkids looked like Nixon. But he nailed it and when I next saw a picture of the actual Nixon I was a bit surprised he didn’t look like Hopkins. Capturing the personality and essence of a historical figure is far more important than being able to pass for a twin.

  124. Ryan Adams

    patched, rufus

    Though I’ll confess I was with you all the way about Hopkins’ Nixon looking nothing like Lincoln.

    Airtight argument.

  125. I know I have expressed viewpoints passionately on AD in the past, but I’m pretty sure I never threatened to refer to anyone as a “f*cking idiot.” Really? That reference almost makes me hope Sally Field is awful in the role, nevermind her age, appearance, or mastery of the bi-polar performance. (I’d err on the side of her being serviceable at a minimum)

    But, “f*cking idiot”? What’s that line from Chicago? Oh, yeah, “whatever happened to class … ” Geez.

    And it’s only September … oy vey!

  126. rufussondheim

    thanks, I think :)

  127. Good point on the physical matching, Rufus. D-Day doesn’t look like Abe, either, but in character with the make-up and clothes, he’ll nail the essence of him.

    Lewis disappears more than anyone, but if Field brings her own persona into the role while also tackling deep elements of Mary Todd, that’s fine too. In All the President’s Men, we’re watching Hoffman and Redford as much we are portrayals of Bernstein and Woodward, but it’s not distracting, just excitingly cinematic. And I don’t know if there’s a director who “does cinematic” better than Spielberg. it can hurt him with lackluster material but if Lincoln’s script brings it, he’ll create some really special entertainment.

  128. Sometimes it takes more than one time to see a film to really see the film as Dan Conley pointed out. I really was not thrilled with Harry Potter Deathly Hallows Part 2. Thought it was way too busy and seemed to me for the most run amuck. Then I saw it a second time and perhaps getting past all the visual elements and the sound and listening to the film and hearing it’s voice I completely turned around and think it was probably one of the top five films of last year. I was thrilled with J Edgar the first time I saw it and then on a second viewing seemed to find so many things about it that made me kind of scratch my head. I just don’t think with some films that one viewing tells you everything about the film. I hate to admit how much I missed when I saw Harry Potter Pt 2 the first time. I thought the screenplay was weak and on a second viewing came to the conclusion it was one of the tighest screenplays written last year.

    As for the comments about how absurd pyschical resemblances are when casting a film I don’t think it’s a deal breaker but if you know enough about a character than you expect there to be a resemblance. Spielberg went to great lengths to make DDL look eerily like Lincoln. I think he was obligated to at least go half way with Mary Todd.

    I will also admit that when I saw the Young Victoria with Emily Blunt I was struck by a number of things that were disturbing to me. Prince Albert towered over Victoria and yet in the film there was no difference. If you go back to Nicholas and Alexandra Michael Jayston [I hope that’s correct] strongly resembles the last Tsar as does Janet Suzman the Tsarina. When your working with well known historical figures you really do have to pay some attention to the pyschical attributes of your actors.

    Imagine Gene Hackman playing Lincoln. He might be excellent but I would think the first thing you would heard said as you left the theater was “He just didn’t look like Lincoln.”

  129. Alexander

    “War Horse” was boring. “Tintin” was too. Its not hard to believe this will be boring too. Spielberg has lost it.

  130. “This movie was boring. That movie was boring. This will be boring. Boring. Spielberg has lost it. Boring”.

    Boring. A word that is always such a great addition to any discussion.

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