AVS Special Member
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Tucson, Arizona
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Just saw this thread and I'm pretty surprised. I have been a Spielberg critic for a long time for the exact reason set forth in this thread, sentimentality. I also hate the "logic be damned" crowd pleasing portions of his movies (see T-Rex showing up stealthily in JP to save the day after shaking the earth previously). However, I found Lincoln to be the first movie that I've seen from Spielberg that I wouldn't have guessed the director from the movie.
I find it ironic that Scott declares, in the Argo thread, that that movie deserved the best picture award when it was all about creating false impressions and phony drama. This award will one day be looked back on as another huge Oscar gaffe.
Lincoln was not boring and is one of the few movies that concentrates on an event and allows the characters to talk and express ideas. I loved the language in the movie. The biggest moments are expressions of ideas and words: Lincoln at the table with his cabinet, Mary Todd Lincoln confronting Thadeus Stevens. Thadeus Stevens destroying enemies in the House of Representatives. I thought the movie was brave in that it showed the House of Representatives for what it was (and still is?), a bunch of amateur politicians who could be easily bought, duped, or swayed.
So Spielberg could use an editor to stop him from adding prologues like in Schindler's List and the death of Lincoln wasn't exactly needed (even I didn't find it sentimental), it was not necessary. But perhaps we didn't need to see the Titanic sink because we pretty much knew that was going to happen.
One of my main complaints in Spielberg's movies is that he doesn't allow acting. Most of the actors have to do reaction shots to green screens. Every once in a while, an actor transcends the work such as Ralph Fiennes in Schindler's List (another huge Oscar gaffe not rewarding that performance). Lincoln had great performances in it from top to bottom and truly is an actor's movie -- which I have never seen from Spielberg before. I would like to say that Spielberg is getting better and better but I watched some of War Horse on satellite and that movie is everything I hate about Spielberg so maybe Lincoln is the exception.
Now this is a forum where many of the posters only care about how a movie's explosions sound in their home theater so maybe it isn't the best place for me to defend this particular quiet movie but there are a lot of posters (the OP especially) who seem to give careful consideration to all aspects of movies. So color me surprised.
Jerry. Just remember. Its not a lie . . . if you believe it. GC