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Spielberg’s Lincoln Well Received at New York Film Fest

How you view the reactions to the NYFF is probably one of those “glass if half full” type of moments. My stream on Twitter, for instance, was full of really great reactions.  But others have informed me that it could be described as a mixed reaction.

But here are some of the good ones:

@reverse_shot: LINCOLN: Sophisticated, erudite political procedural from Spielberg and Kushner. Genuinely superb.

Steve Zeitchik @ZeitchikLAT Daniel Day-Lewis much more understated and playful than thescenery-chewing trailer suggests.

Clayton Davis ‏@AwardsCircuit LINCOLN soars and Spielbergs best in years #NYFF

Eugene Hernandez ‏@eug Just saw LINCOLN at #NYFF. Swept up by grand Americana theatricality & strong perfs. 1800s West Wing? A bit. Engrossing political melodrama!

Logan Hill ‏@loganhill33 Spielberg’s Lincoln at #NYFF was rock solid monument to Abe, a bounce back from War Horse. Predix: Oscar noms galore. Tommy Lee Jones FTW

Matt Patches ‏@misterpatches Spielberg’s Lincoln turns a defining moment in history into a human story. Day-Lewis is dynamic, but it’s a great ensemble piece. #NYFF

These are the positive tweets. There are probably quite a few that run the gamut between raves, pans and everything in between.  I remember when Hugo first played at the New York Film Festival and the reaction was also mixed. Many of the same words were used — like, “stiff” and “uneven.” Those are younger film critics’ favorite terms.  Uneven especially, because somewhere along the line someone taught them that there is a certain form one must adhere to when making films – an architectural structure of sorts that if the movie spills out of that form it is “uneven.” This bothers me greatly and when I read that in a tweet or a review I immediately dismiss it.  There is more to a movie than its structure. There is no structure that a movie must hold to. Just as the most inventive novels, paintings and music compositions often stray off script – films don’t have to follow any kind of roadmap. To you, they are good or they are not. If they aren’t, there are better ways of saying so. I do sometimes fall into this trap myself.  I saw a movie recently where I felt that after a certain scene the whole thing fell apart. I was irritated at its lack of structure. But I will admit that if the movie had worked for me none of that would have mattered.

So what I want to read in these reviews is what didn’t work that made you start paying attention to the structure or lack thereof.

At any rate, if you would like to have a look back at some of the tweets coming out of NYFF for Hugo, Hitfix gathered them up nicely one year ago. As we know, Hugo came in first runner-up in the Oscar race, winning five Oscars and very nearly stealing Best Picture and Best Director from The Artist:

Eric Kohn, Indiewire critic tweeted, “If nothing else, the first 3-D movie about the importance of silent film preservation.”

Fellow awards season pundit Anne Thompson also chimed in on twitter noting, “Scorsese delivers cinephile’s wet dream with costly 3-D. Lead kid + first half are stiff, but it shifts into gear by finale.

Stu Van Airsdale of Moveline described it as “the world’s first activist magic-realist holiday family blockbuster-hopeful.”  He also marveled at the film’s 3D sequences, but was taken a back by how “preachy” the film was at the end while also marveling “‘But I kind of liked being preached to!’ At least I preferred it compared to the well-made, well-acted but relatively bloodless conviction of the film’s first half.

“The highest compliment may have come from Andrew O’Hehir of Salon who noted, “Scorsese’s not-quite-finished #HUGO has issues, but the right word is magical. Gorgeous use of 3D & his best film in many years (seriously).”

So there you go. Two of these four are probably more in line with Oscar than the other two. Hugo isn’t a universally loved film even now.  But the Oscar race isn’t always just about the movie.  It’s about the trajectory of the director, too. It’s about how far he or she has come. What his or her obstacles once were and whether he or she overcame them. It’s about how much money the film did or didn’t make. It’s about celebrating a beloved President during a difficult election. It’s about Spielberg not dive bombing into sap. And it’s about one of the best living writers and actors film has ever known.  But by all means, let it boil down to a few tweets.

My advice: withhold judgment until the major critics have put out their reviews and whether the public responds to it or not. We are living in trigger-happy times. We want to know and we want to know now. But the Oscar race is fluid, not static and knowing what will win right now is a best guess at best.  But know this: Spielberg’s War Horse got a Best Picture nomination. This movie is, by most accounts, way better than that. Do the math.

57 Comments on this Post

  1. steve50

    Surprisingly, it’s the less-than-glowing tweets that have sparked my interest. The “complaints”, if you can call them that, are using terms like “nerdy” and “talky”. To me, this means thought-provoking and it’s likely that it’s Kushner’s script (and Goodwin’s original material) that drives the film.

    I’m honestly excited about this now.

  2. Tero Heikkinen

    Looks like a screenwriter’s product as much as director’s. Someone called it The Social Network of Steven Spielberg (and TSN was a writer/director-film). No action – non-stop dialogue, but in a very entertaining and surprisingly humourous way.

    Talky is good IMO, but it’s a tougher sell. Still, in USA, hard to see people over 30 (at least) saying no to Spielberg/Lincoln/Day-Lewis -combo.

  3. I happen to use the term “uneven” fairly frequently and I’m not referring to structure at all, though thanks for assuming that I’m some poorly educated soul. Guess we can’t all have your superb film education.

    To me, it generally means that I found portions of the film exceedingly boring. Think “The Skin I Live In”– there’s this whole fascinating storyline with Vera and instead, we’re forced for a long period of time to think about Banderas’s character’s mother/brother. Who cares!?

  4. Jjeggles

    Overall, this just may be too slow and lacking dramatic tension, even for Academy taste.As a huge Kushner fan, I am most disappointed in the screenplay and found the pace of the first hour to be nearly painful, aside from opening scene. TLJ and Sally Field have great moments, (complete with the necessary Oscar clip) and could be nominated. DDL was great, but actually expected more (again, fault the writing). Plenty of below-the-line nominations but absolutely NO CHANCE FOR BEST PICTURE OR DIRECTOR nominations. Sorry, this year is just turning out way to competitive. Well-meaning, nicely shot film and will likely draw in masses only to bore them out of the theater.

  5. Silrone Lima

    Well received? HAHAHAHA
    What a tendentious piece of sentence.

  6. rufussondheim

    Question about Hugo at NYFF last year. If I recall, the print that showed at the festival was unfinished. Is my memory correct?

    I don’t trust anyone at this point that says “This is the frontrunner” after seeing just one or two of the films. If the general consensus is correct, there could be five or more films that could win at this point. Argo, Life of Pi and Silver Linings all have great reception too. Throw Lincoln into the mix and that’s four. Django, Les Miz and Zero Dark thirty all look extremely promising too.

    Don’t forget, there might only be five nominations. And for that reason I’m beginning to think that even saying any film is a lock for a nomination is premature right now, there’s just too much out there.

    (On a side note, I recall the initial enthusiasm for War Horse last year. The early word on that had many people gushing and saying it was gonna win. Not saying Lincoln will follow the same trajectory, just saying that it’s early, too early to properly assess these responses.)

  7. Its funny becuz the thing that makes me so excited to see this is how much I enjoyed War Horse, the second best film of last year in my opinion.It was grand and epic, beautifully shot and very heartfelt. I’m pretty sure this could win BP(although thats stupid of me to say when we havent seen Les Mis, or The Hobbit).

  8. Jeremy C

    The Social Network was “nerdy” and “talky” but nonetheless riveting throughout. I am skeptical, however, that I will like Lincoln in the same way.

  9. Jake, I,too, love War Horse. As of right now, my top five For best Actor are: Joaquin Phoenix, Daniel Day-Lewis, Bradley Cooper, Ben Affleck and Hugh Jackman. I don’t think Day-Lewis’ performance is enough to topple Phoenix from the top spot in my opinion.

  10. Most telling quote so far was from Scott Feinberg of “The Hollywood Reporter” saying that “the way the ACADEMY will react will depend on the outcome of the election.”

    He also says the Lincoln=Obama parallels are there.

    And I think he’s right. And I love Obama, and hope he wins.

  11. Most of the tweets are, in fact, positive, including one from Reverse Shot. It’s a matter of compiling the stuff, which has been done here: http://forum.cinemaemcena.com.br/index.php?/topic/4808-oscar-2013-previsoes/page__st__1160#entry1310343

    The clowns can stay in denial if that’s what they like.

  12. I was in the audience for ‘Lincoln’ at the NYFF. One thing I can say for sure, this movie IS NOT ‘War Horse’. This is my first post ever here, but I’ve been reading you guys for a little while. English is not my first language, so I apologize in advance for any grammatical mistakes you might find.

    This is mostly an actors’ film; Daniel Day Lewis, Sally Field and Tommy Lee Jones are superb and very engrossing to watch. The supporting cast is not that far behind. Yes, it is “talky” and “nerdy” and it is perfect this way for me. It is a history lesson enacted by great performers. Actually, It doesn’t feel like an “Spielberg’s movie”. I cannot say that I am a huge Spielberg fan, but I’ve seen enough of his films to see his hands all over it (John Williams’s score wasn’t even so imposing this time around and it fits). It felt like he let the “stage” to the actors. I’m not sure how much we can believe him about this, but before the movie started Spielberg told the audience he is still working on it, so what we saw is basically a work in progress (the end credits wasn’t even complete on the screen). Personally, I think the film would benefit from a shorter running time, because of the amount of dialog it does feel longer than necessary. But even I wouldn’t know what to leave on the “cutting room floor”.

    I agree with Sasha when she says “hold judgement”. I would add “see it for yourself”. Maybe it is a good thing to lower expectations a bit just to be able to appreciate what is on the screen, instead of hoping for what it won’t be there. Maybe the film won’t be nominated, critics and public won’t like it that much. That doesn’t mean it is a bad movie. I understand the job of this blog is to track the awards’ race, but Oscar or not, I really appreciate what I saw tonight.

  13. October Surprise

    “There are no bad pictures; that’s just how your face looks sometimes.”

    ― Abraham Lincoln

  14. “There is more to a movie than its structure.”

    That’s true, Sasha, but typically, whenever I find a film to be uneven (I actually say “disjointed,” but it’s pretty much the same thing), it usually comes back to the screenplay. When it’s obvious that the film has no real sense of direction and is just spinning its wheels, it can become a chore to sit through.

    I don’t think this is just a young man/woman’s game (pretty sure most reviewers I’ve read that use the word “uneven” are old farts). And it’s actually not always about the structure of the script either. Sometimes it just comes down to this: parts of it were interesting, parts of it weren’t.

    As an example, I’d say ATONEMENT falls under this heading. It has a script, no arguments about that. The first ten minutes were amazing: interesting, well-edited, etc. Once James McAvoy goes to war, however, it loses a lot of steam. It picks up again later, but the pacing is a little off.

    Or. . .uneven, if you will :)

  15. Determined

    [I'm a jerkoff]

  16. Totally possible to share one’s opinion of something as innocuous as movies without dragging others with a different opinion down. It stifles discussion and makes it hostile right off the bat……and so now we are left here with a bunch of people wanting to discuss “uneven” and defend themselves and their age. I’m not innocent either….I think I called someone on here a twat a couple days ago.

  17. murtaza

    should’ve shared the negative criticism as well.

  18. Having been in the audience as well last night at the NYFF I have to agree with Radich’s post above 100%. Obviously being a workprint, I believe there will be alot more use of John Williams’ score but other than that I can’t see much else Spielberg can do (and of course the addition of credits). But everything the person posted above reflects my exact thoughts on the film.

  19. Bob Burns

    Uneven especially, because somewhere along the line someone taught them that there is a certain form one must adhere to when making films – an architectural structure of sorts that if the movie spills out of that form it is “uneven.” This bothers me greatly and when I read that in a tweet or a review I immediately dismiss it. There is more to a movie than its structure. There is no structure that a movie must hold to. Just as the most inventive novels, paintings and music compositions often stray off script – films don’t have to follow any kind of roadmap”

    amen –

    to state it positively, uneven is a strength in art. actual art. probably a necessity.

    honestly, when I read “uneven”, or it’s equivalent, I just hope that one day the writer will manage to pull his head out of his ass…. and move on, hoping it’s not a thing taught in film school.

  20. Really great reviews considering it is not finished yet.

  21. I have visions of Spielberg introducing this as a work print and at the end, defending everything people hated as something that he’s working on. Then completely refilming it….

    I’m sorry. I’m a big 70s/80s Spielberg fan, I loved Minority Report and I thought that Schindler’s List was adequate (the man needed to be called an Oscar-winner). But the man is so over-hyped. People have to remember he’s a human being too. Since when did he become this God? He isn’t nearly as consistent as some of our great directors – Capra, Ford, Kubrick, Lean (save for A Passage to India)…heck, even Scorsese.

    This movie is…mark my words…TOO BIG TO FAIL!

  22. You know I was thinking about the comment that War Horse was held up last year and touted as being this incredible film before anyone saw it and I seem to recall that what was mostly said was that everyone hoped it would turn out that way and pretty based that premise on the success of the long running play. I remember various conversations on this site about War Horse and many saying that they wondered just how Spielburg would handle the sentimentality of the piece and in many cases there were a great many voices here citing it would be a dud.

    I’ve seen War Horse and was affected in many instances but dissappointed by the disjointed character of the film and blamed that soley on the screenplay.

    I don’t see that happening with Lincoln. Different can of worms and a week ago there were a lot of comments here regarding Sally Field and it seems those comments had no basis. If we learn anything we should learn that ya can’t judge a film without buying a ticket.

  23. I wish the reviews were polarizing just so Sasha could say: “The nation is once again divided over Lincoln.” Feel free to steal that.

  24. Aaron B

    @D2, how can we forget that he’s only human when it’s brought up constantly how big a “hack” he is? I for one would rate him above Capra, but it’s funny you bring him up. Talk about a director who was overly sentimental. He would be torn to shreds in this wave of snarky-cynicism. I love “Mr. Deeds Goes to Town” and “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.” But can you imagine if Spielberg made those exact same films?

  25. Yeah, Nic V. We were discussing here how can one say someone is miscast without seeing actual man. And after these first reviews we can see praises to Sally Field. So, we should never trust anyone in these cases without seeing film.

  26. Andrew S

    This is actually a smart way to present a film because if he does listen to the response – it’s like doing a test screening for friends of an almost finished film and then taking their notes to make last modifications. If people are saying it’s too long / that it should be scaled down a bit, then these are solvable problems in the edit room. A film is really never done unless a filmmakers/distributor says it is, so he can always come back and send a new version out into the world.

    I agree with the thing Sasha said about being annoyed with younger critics who use the words “uneven” or “stiff”. Kudos for pointing that out!

  27. Still pullin’ for that Sally Field nomination here so that whatshisname can eat his words from an earlier post…

  28. I keep saying this, and the “Gurus” of Gold seem to be blind to it.

    election year => interest in Lincoln will drive it to Oscar gold

  29. @ D2 – “Since when did he become this God?”

    *****

    Because he is one of the few directors to have his vision with himself during 5 decades. He is one the few directors to have most great films in his filmography. He is one of the few diretors maybe only one to have success in almost every genre. And these are just few things.

  30. Tero Heikkinen

    Yeah, it’s obvious that the guy had not seen the film. Sally Field “miscast” when everybody (who has now seen it) is sure she will be nominated? Plus, no mention on Tommy Lee Jones who is supposedly stealing the show from Daniel himself.

    Maybe, from now on, people should not post comments from anonymous people. Especially not on a big New York magazine.

    The problem with Daniel, Sally and Tommy Lee is that all of them are previous winners and two of them even multiple winners. Sally’s film career has not been blooming of late – she’s been big on TV. Tommy Lee and Daniel give great performances all the time (Daniel acting rarely still).

    I still think BA is Joaquin’s to lose even if Daniel manages to be even better. DDL won just too recently and he has two leading trophies. Plus, if Lincoln and Les Mis share most of the category wins, they must throw something big to The Master as well. Tommy Lee Jones seems to be the actor who’s gonna win (and Hathaway from Les Mis), we need to see Leo DiCaprio’s scenes first. He has overdue factor.

    Best Actress is the weird category. Right now, I’d say that Riva will win that, but possibly Lawrence.

  31. PREDICTION WINNERS

    Best Picture: ARGO
    Best Director: BEN AFFLECK/ARGO
    Best Actor: JOAQUIN PHOENIX/THE MASTER
    Best Actress: JENNIFER LAWRENCE/SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK
    Best Supporting Actor: TOMMY LEE JONES/LINCOLN
    Best Supporting Actress: ANNE HATHAWAY/LES MISERABLES
    Best Original Screenplay: AMOUR
    Best Adapted Screenplay: ARGO
    Best Film Editing: ARGO
    Best Cinematography: LIFE OF PI
    Best Production Design: LES MISERABLES
    Best Costume Design: ANA KARENINA
    Best Make Up: LINCOLN
    Best Song:LES MISERABLES
    Best Original Score: LIFE OF PI
    Best Sound Mixing: LES MISERABLES
    Best Sound Editing: LIFE OF PI
    Best Visual Effects: lIFE OF PI
    Best Foreing Film: AMOUR/MICHAEL HANEKE

  32. I was at the not so secret screening. I enjoyed Lincoln more than any recent Spielberg since Minority Report. But while better than Amistad it’s still in that vein- a bit boring at times. The acting is great – Day Lewis gives a very quiet performance so while I think he will definitely get nominated this wont do for a 3 rd win. Jones’ character is the only one that gets an emotional personal connection to the historical events thus MVP status – I can see him win unless we get a bigger flashier supporting turn. Field will get nominated, she gets to emote and scream the most – she is playing a mad woman after all.

    the DDL performance that this most reminds me of is The Age of Innocence – quiet, restrained, never rising to a crescendo
    There you have it – acting, below line impeccable, better than Amistad

  33. Tero Heikkinen

    I want to try, too.

    Best Picture: LINCOLN
    Best Director: STEVEN SPIELBERG/LINCOLN
    Best Actor: JOAQUIN PHOENIX/THE MASTER
    Best Actress: EMMANUELLE RIVA/AMOUR
    Best Supporting Actor: TOMMY LEE JONES/LINCOLN
    Best Supporting Actress: ANNE HATHAWAY/LES MISERABLES
    Best Original Screenplay: THE MASTER
    Best Adapted Screenplay: LINCOLN
    Best Film Editing: ARGO
    Best Cinematography: LES MISERABLES
    Best Production Design: LES MISERABLES
    Best Costume Design: LES MISERABLES
    Best Makeup and Hairstyling: LINCOLN
    Best Original Song: SKYFALL
    Best Original Score: ARGO
    Best Sound Mixing: LES MISERABLES
    Best Sound Editing: THE DARK KNIGHT RISES
    Best Visual Effects: THE DARK KNIGHT RISES
    Best Foreign Language Film: AMOUR
    Best Animated Feature: FRANKENWEENIE

  34. Jeremy E

    I saw the screening last night, and yes, the performances of TLJ and DDL will DEFINITELY get nominated. Still, however, they do not compare at all to PSH and JP of the Master, both of whom I believe to have the STRONG ADVANTAGE thus far. The script is, yes, talky, and the story itself, though historically intriguing, plods through at times, and many supporting players are simply not given enough to do. JGL’s role as Lincoln’s edest son was completely wasted, in my opinion, and I fault the script for this. All in all, I honestly do not understand the initial raves for this film. The argument that it is a very ‘non-Spielberg’ film is not enough to make me sing the high praises. So the score isn’t stifling, the sentimentality not as typically over-cooked. This is, in NO WAY, SHAPE, or FORM, a Best Pic Winner. Mark my words. Nominations will be plenty, and I honestly expect it to win a big fat ZERO, in the end.

  35. Moviefan

    If DiCaprio is nominated there is no way he will lose to Jones again. If anything that will make it easy for people to vote for Leo because Jones beat him in 93 already.

  36. Tero Heikkinen

    “Nominations will be plenty, and I honestly expect it to win a big fat ZERO, in the end.”

    The Color Purple Redux? 11 nominations with ZERO wins.

    Moviefan, haha, yes, it would be those two again. Also, if De Niro is nominated there, the son and the stepfather (from This Boy’s Life) are up against, too.

    1993 was great for Leo.

  37. Jeremy E

    Tero, yes, I really do believe this is much more of a Color Purple than a Schindler’s List. (Color Purple, however, is a FAR SUPERIOR film than Linoln, IMO). The only Oscar I can see it winning may be Best Makeup. No on score, cinematography, direction, script, sup actress, actor, etc. Yes, TLJ is ‘best in show’, but again, pales in comparison to PSH in Master, and from the sounds of it, LD in Django.

    Most balanced opinion I may suffice is MANY NOMINATIONS, very few to NO WINS. The story just doesn’t have enough tension; it is 2.5 hours on the legalities of passing one ammendment. Too much courtroom with too many supporting actors to actually care about most. Emotional pay-off is extremely minimal, (hence the ‘wow, yay for Spielberg showing restraint’ chorus)…yet the way the characters were written leaves much of the film feeling not only too cerebral, but….lifeless.

  38. Really Jeremy? Color Purple is probably my LEAST favorite Spielberg film. Maybe Hook, but it’s close.

    Talky historical film dealing with the minutiae of law and government? That sounds right up my alley. Like the severely underrated ‘Amistad’ – but even better.

  39. I still think John Hawkes could take Best Actor for The Sessions.

  40. rufussondheim

    Yeah, I really don’t think it’s a DDL v Phoenix match-up. I think Jackman has the best chance by now. And if Silver Linings really hits it big, I think Bradley Cooper has a shot (this is based on the trailer alone.) John Hawkes is also definitely in the mix. And there are others out there (like Hopkins) who really don’t get discussed that much and probably should.

  41. Jeremy E,

    My friend, your same post are everywhere on the web with different names of you. It is not surprise you posted this in Jeff Well’s blog with the name Jjeggles :). Surprise but it seems Jeff also begin to understand that DDL’s voice is appropriate.

  42. Well it seems like the more positive the reviews the more the critics here of Spielberg now need to step back and use the theme of the film as the basis for it not winning any awards come Oscar. Did any of you who are using the premise of this is a political piece and that it will not win any awards remember a recent mini series called John Adams?

    I wouldn’t bank anything on Phoenix. He’ll get a nomination but I wouldn’t say the Oscar was his. You put Phoenix, Lewis, and Jackman on a ballot with say Affleck my guess is Phoenix is gonna fall at the bottom of the list come voting time.

    I just hope Riva gets nominated.

  43. Brian D

    I think the biggest problem with JP and PSH is that while they give tremendous performances, it’s in service to a movie few Academy members will like.

    That, more than DDL, will threaten their Oscar chances.

  44. Here’s the article from an Australian newspaper

    STEVEN Spielberg has the Oscar in the bag, if the first reviews of Lincoln are anything to go by.

    The film, a biopic of the 16th US president, was shown in unfinished form at the New York film festival on Monday and critics praised Daniel Day-Lewis’s measured performance and a scene-stealing Tommy Lee Jones.

    The reviews mean Spielberg is the man to beat at next year’s Oscars and will almost certainly mean nods for Day-Lewis and Jones. A clean sweep by Lincoln at the awards is looking highly likely.

    Here’s what the critics said:

    Katey Rich, The Guardian

    Lincoln isn’t as sentimental as you might expect from Spielberg, and though it never digs deep enough into Lincoln as a man, it’s unafraid to show him as a canny politician willing to bend the law and make enormous compromises to accomplish a greater goal. With John Williams’s gentle score, posh cinematography from Janusz Kaminski and a whole load of big costumes and facial hair for the cast, Lincoln veers too often toward becoming a somnolent period piece, but the strong cast and political texture always manage to perk things back up. Though it might have worked better as a tighter, purely political thriller with even less focus on the title character, Lincoln’s smarty-pants pleasures manage to outweigh its stuffy drawbacks.

    Scott Feinberg, Hollywood Reporter

    Lincoln appears to be Oscar-bait incarnate. As he did with his most ambitious historical films — Schindler’s List (1993) and Saving Private Ryan (1998) — Spielberg, who has made a career of blurring the line between art and commerce, has risen to the occasion. Although the film runs two hours, 25 minutes, every scene felt tight and necessary, undoubtedly in large part because Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner (Angels in America) penned its script, drawing from a small section of Doris Kearns Goodwin’s rigorously researched historical study Team of Rivals.

    Rodrigo Perez, The Playlist

    Marked by a forceful, but nicely muted performance by Daniel Day-Lewis as the 16th President of the United States, perhaps the film’s greatest asset is the consummate scene stealer Tommy Lee Jones as Radical Republican Congressional leader Thaddeus Stevens. A fervent abolitionist, while Stevens and Lincoln are ostensibly on the same side of aiming to end slavery, their methods are thoroughly different; Stevens charging ahead while Lincoln offering the composure of a cool tactician.

  45. rufussondheim

    Mattoc, not sure if you cut and pasted from different sources or if that was all one article. If it is from one article then it is a poor one. None of the three critics blurbs support what the author of the article is contending, that it will sweep the Oscars. The first excerpt is a favorable but not enthusiastic review, the second is the most positive but the phrase “appears to be Oscar-bait incarnate” is far different than “this is the Oscar favorite” and, well, the third excerpt is far more descriptive of the film than supportive.

    Outside of a few tweets, the overall reaction to this film seems favorable. Most positive reactions seem to come with a “but” or an “except” clause in there somewhere. And I’ve seen very few reactions like “The is the best of the year” or such.

    I’ve seen little so far to suggest that my initial #7 placement for this film is far-off.

  46. Nearly all bloggers or critics gave it psitive reviews. It was Jeff Wells searching for negative review and making it headline and he found one that say it is boring. There were few negative reviews by average moviegoers who call it “boring” but we know professional critics don’t use this term to review a film.

    Actually this review conducts all the reactions in itself.

    http://www.hitfix.com/awards-campaign/first-reaction-daniel-day-lewis-is-mesmerizing-in-spielbergs-fantastic-lincoln

    And don’t forget.Spielberg said it is unfinished.

  47. Look at one guy’s ridiculous response:

    ” Turtle@TurtleMoneyz – “Lincoln is already one of the most overrated movies of the year. Sigh. Piece of crap movie. #NYFF ”

    How can one accept this “review” seriously?

  48. How can you doubt the words of TurtleMoneyz?
    Also like the youtube critic that tweeted something about Spielberg should stop trying to make “War Horse 2″ as if he has had more than one movie since “War Horse.”

  49. rufussondheim

    mecid, you can’t take it any more seriously than the positive comments found on Twitter.

    It’s Twitter for fuck’s sake. It is the most mindless, substance-free form of communication out there. It’s practically impossible to properly form an opinion about a movie in 140 characters or less.

    I’m still on the Wait and See phase for this film as Sasha recommends.

  50. rufussondheim

    I don’t often agree with Sasha about the race and how to handicap it. And I’ve pointed out where I thought she was wrong on many occasions. She usually does not respond (sadly)

    I’ve never felt that she’s done anything to “put down” my opinion or myself.

    It’s a common conversation topic, what superpower would you want? I think I’ve changed mine from Identifying the Man in a Room of 100 Who Will Be the Best Sex Partner to Knowing the True Motives of Hit and Run AD Posters.

  51. [We had a request from a valued reader to remove a comment posted earlier. Happy to cooperate. No harm done. No hard feelings. No 'censorship' either.]

  52. silently laughing to myself at all these TLJ steals the show. The casual film goer really doesnt see acting. They see the dramatic result which is the combination of all departments working together. Guarantee that DDL dusted everybody off when it came to acting on screen, and playing the character they created.

  53. @Rufus

    Yep, it’s the one article, and yes it is poorly written and misleading. This particular publication wouldn’t have it any other way.

  54. ["My advice: withhold judgment until the major critics have put out their reviews and whether the public responds to it or not. "]

    My advice: withhold judgement until you have actually seen it with your own eyes.

  55. Saw Lincoln the other night at a sneak preview screening. DDL is great, as usual, but the Best Actor Oscar is still Joaquin’s to lose.

    Tommy Lee Jones probably has the best chance of any of the ensemble players for a supporting nomination (and probably should), but it’s not an award-winning performance (especially when stacked against PSH and DiCaprio, who is looking excellent in all of the Django trailers).

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