We thought that Spielberg couldn’t get any more Oscar bait-y than last year’s “War Horse” trailer, but the Beard has topped himself. How is this possible? “War Horse” had all the same ingredients: exquisitely and meticulously framed cinematography by Jamusz Kaminski, check; stirring string score by John Williams, check; flashes of brutal, “Saving Private Ryan”-ish battle scenes, check; a grandfatherly speech by a sagacious older man, check. Oh, but you know what we forgot? We forgot Daniel Day-Lewis. Damn you, Daniel Day-Lewis.
Yes, put Day-Lewis’ Oscar campaign on autopilot, because the Stanislavsky disciple has done what he does yet again. That is not an actor in that trailer, that is Abraham freaking Lincoln, stepped out of the history books to gently chastise whatever plebeian fool passes for leadership in this country these days. And as we could expect from Day-Lewis, he’s found that one little choice that keeps his performance away from parody and turns it into a lived-in human being: his voice. This is not the basso profundo we hear in our heads when we read Historically Important texts like the Gettysburg Address – it’s a little strained, a little reedy (and I’m sure, more accurate). It brings Lincoln down from the realm of the American Gods to a relatable level of humanity. Again I say damn you, Daniel Day-Lewis.
A few other thoughts about this already-ballyhooed film: 1) my dear lord, I guess when you’re Steven Spielberg you can literally hire an acclaimed veteran/character actor for every single role you have in a monstrous supporting ensemble. Hal Holbrook, David Strathairn, Tommy Lee Jones, Jared Harris, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Stuhlbarg, Jackie Earle Haley, Sally Field, John Hawkes, James Spader, Lee Pace, Bruce McGill, Tim Blake Nelson, Walton Goggins, even Adam Driver (aka the best part of HBO’s “Girls” and now That Guy Who Is Suddenly Everywhere)??? How is there enough screentime for all of these people? Is this movie 5 hours long?
Also, 2) It will actually be interesting to see just how much of an Oscar slam dunk “Lincoln” ends up being. It hits every note of the stereotypical “Oscar” movie, but it is also 2012 and this particularly CINEMATIC mode of Spielberg’s filmmaking feels more and more out of date. It was ambiguous after “War Horse” whether or not our more cynical age still has a place for such old-fashioned movie storytelling; “Lincoln” may make us finally come down on one side or the other.
I shamefully still have never watched Breaking Bad, but I hear Aaron Paul is really good? And I already have a celebrity crush on Mary Elizabeth Winstead because of my love for everyone and everything tangentially related to “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World,” so I’m certainly intrigued by this low-budget drama about a young couple trying to fight their way out of alcoholism. Plus, Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally!! (also known as true love’s last hope after the Amy Poehler-Will Arnett split that we will never mention again because it makes me want to cry)
Wreck-It Ralph, trailer 2
I know I already talked about this movie when the first trailer came out, but I want to reiterate how excited I am for this. Do you know how many hours of my childhood were dedicated to Sonic the Hedgehog? Do you? SONIC THE HEDGEHOG IS IN A MOVIE.