A few things happened last week in Oscar news:
*Thursday Fox Searchlight announced that HITCHCOCK would be released November 23rd in time for and Oscar run. I previously did not think that it would be released this year because it just wrapped up filming in May. They some have a lot of confidence in Anthony Hopkins portrayal of Alfred Hitchcock.
*LINCOLN will get its world premiere at the AFI Film Festival as the official Closing Film on November 8th. They purposely are waiting until right after the election as to not sway any voting. It’s official release is November 16th.
*The New York Post reported that LINCOLN “had a test screening Tuesday night at the AMC Garden State Plaza 16 in Paramus, N.J.” An anonymous person gave their thoughts…
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.
“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.”
I’m a big Spielberg fan, and I hope “Lincoln” works. If there are indeed problems with “Lincoln” — and, keep in mind, this is one nonprofessional’s opinion — Spielberg has seven weeks to try and fix things like, say, the pacing. And as Spielberg notes, test screenings can be deceiving. “Close Encounters” certainly worked out OK.
*The Directors Guild of America said that they will announce their nominations January 8th. The Oscar nominations will be two days later. This means that the DGA nominations will not effect the Oscar nominatons as in previous years. The PGA nominations will also be announced after Oscar ballots close.