Trailer: Lincoln (dir. by Steven Spielberg)

One of the films for 2012 that’s seen by many as a major player in the end of the year Awards season. Steven Spielberg’s long-delayed and gestating historical drama about Abraham Lincoln will finally make it onto the big-screen this early November. Spielberg had initially chosen Liam Neeson to play the 16th President of these United States but as the project continued to get delayed he backed out and in comes Daniel Day-Lewis to take on a very difficult role.

Lincolnis based off of Doris Kearns Goodwin’s biography of the 16th President, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. With Tony Kushner tasked with finally hashing out a final draft of the screenplay the film finally went into production in 2009. The cast is an ensemble led by Day-Lewis that includes several past Academy Award and Emmy winners like Tommy Lee Jones, Sally Field and Hal Holbrook with other acting luminaries like Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Walton Goggins, David Straithairn, Jared Harris and Jackie Earle Haley.

The first trailer finally arrived today, September 13, 2012, during a Google+ hangout with Spielberg and Gordon-Levitt and reaction to the trailer seems to range from “give Daniel Day-Lewis the Oscar already” to “an Oscar-bait if there was ever one”. No matter where one sat in their reaction to this trailer it will be interesting to see if Spielberg will come out with a film that doesn’t come off as maudlin and manipulative, but deliver a film that explores and tries to explain why Lincoln became such a beloved President in his time despite making so many unpopular decisions and sitting through the worst era of American history (Civil War) and decades since his death.

Here’s to hoping that the film is less like Amistad and more like Schindler’s List in terms of tone and narrative. We know why Lincoln is seen as the greatest President we ever had. What we want to know is the why’s.

Lincoln arrives in the theaters this November 9, 2012.

7 responses to “Trailer: Lincoln (dir. by Steven Spielberg)

  1. To be honestly, I’m totally just sick of the “Oscar bait” term being thrown around every which way. I really don’t get it. So every non-fiction film depicting a historical figure is Oscar bait? So should studios and directors shy away from interesting stories and characters just so they don’t get criticized for doing nothing but trying to get Oscars? It makes no sense. Just because a film looks and feels historically accurate, such as this does, and just because it, like any film, tried to get the best cast possible doesn’t mean its sole purpose is to “bait” the Academy. And beyond that, since when did people starting reading directors minds and knowing their intentions for making something? Listening to Spielberg talk during the hangout it was quite clear he is a history nerd (which is no surprise giving his previous work). So are these people calling it ‘Oscar bait’ ignoring the fact that the director has a personal interest in this story and character and just instead narrowing the films purpose down to just trying to get Oscars?

    People just really need to quit it. /rant


    • Well, most of the time it’s not true the films were made to be Oscar-bait, but I think the term and concept began due to the Weinstein Brothers when they ran Miramax. While some of their films were deserving of winning Oscars and other end of the year awards they also “baited” and campaigned to have films their studio released to win the same awards that didn’t truly deserve them. Whether it was through campaigning through trade publications or just plain bombarding voters with well-edited video mantages of the film’s best scenes and performances their tactic proved successful which just annoyed those filmmakers who tried to let their films speak for themselves.

      Yeah, the Oscar-bait term does sound old, but there’s a reason people still use them. Certain films just has a look and feel to them that they were being done in a certain way using a step-by-step, check-by-check, bullet-point system on how to manipulate audiences and voters to see their film as being better than it truly is. I mean, I know it’s been 14 years since it happened but I still think if Miramax hadn’t put a full-court press, all-out blitz campaigning voters there’s no way Shakespeare In Love wins Best Picture over Saving Private Ryan. *shakes double fists at the Weinsteins*


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