As soon as THE ARTIST won Best Picture last year, I was ready to research next years Best Picture contenders. When I saw that LINCOLN directed by Steven Spielberg was going to be released this year, I immediately concluded that it had to get at least a BP nomination. I tried to forget about WARHORSE and remember how great Spielberg can be especially given a big project like the story of Abraham Lincoln. LINCOLN has become one of the most talked about movies in the Oscar race this year. Mainly due to scope of bringing Lincoln to the big screen and the disaster it could potentially be. How do you begin to cast someone to play Abraham Lincoln? Which direction will the movie go? What part of his life will the movie portray? Is he a good guy or a bad guy?
Now that we know the answers to these questions (Daniel Day-Lewis, it covers the final four months of Lincoln’s life based on Doris Kearn Goodwins book Team of Rivals, good guy) and now that LINCOLN has been seen we can officially consider it as a strong Best Picture contender.
The reviews have been overwhelmingly positive. In a time when every frame of a film is picked apart on movie blogs, websites and social media, it has to be accurate as well as convincing. Some of it’s biggest enthusiasts wrote:
A.O. Scott of the New York Times said, “‘Lincoln’ is a rough and noble democratic masterpiece – an omen, perhaps, that movies for the people shall not perish from the earth.”
Roger Ebert wrote “Rarely has a film attended more carefully to the details of politics”
Entertainment Weekly’s Owen Gleiberman, “The Lincoln we see here is that rare movie creature, a heroic thinker,” he writes. “He has the serpentine intellect of a master lawyer, infused with a poet’s passion. ‘Lincoln’ brilliantly dramatizes the delicacy of politics, along with the raw brutality of it.”
Not everyone agrees. Stephen Whitty of the Newark Star-Ledger, slammed the movie for choking on its own self-serious and mocked it for too many scenes of intense debates held by men with copious facial hair.
“So if you’ve been sitting around wondering, ‘Gee, when is Spielberg ever going to make another ‘Amistad?’ ’ here’s your answer,”
It currently has a 92% on RottenTomatoes and 88% on MetaCritic.
All of this would lead me to think that LINCOLN was a shoe in to win Best Picture, but that may not be the case. While we still wait for LES MISERABLES, ZERO DARK THIRTY, DJANGO UNCHAINED and THE HOBBIT many of the Oscar bloggers are still predicting ARGO as the winner with LES MISERABLES a close second, sight unseen.
LINCOLN is surely a lock for a nomination, Daniel Day-Lewis will probably win Best Actor, but Spielberg’s epic “Oscar bait” movie making may have run its course.