Steven Spielberg's 'Lincoln' Premieres. What Did Critics Think?
Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln surprised audiences at the New York Film Festival Monday evening by holding its World Premiere at the Alice Tully Hall under a “Secret Screening” banner. But the secret was out early on the screening, and several critics – and Oscar pundits – packed the auditorium for the opportunity to weigh in on a film many believe can leap to the front of the still-developing Best Picture race.
The reactions appeared mixed but positive, with some camps claiming it to be Spielberg’s best film in years, and others turned off by the film’s length and pacing. As Erik Davis of Movies.com points out in his recap of the evening, everyone was “blown away by the performances, especially from leads Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field and Tommy Lee Jones, as well as a bit of a scene-stealing turn from James Spader ... and essentially every well-known character actor working today.”
When Spielberg sets his sights on specific frames of history, we’re often treated to masterpieces such as Saving Private Ryan, Munich and Schindler’s List. And the director always has a knack for putting together outstanding ensembles, which it sounds like he has achieved with Lincoln.
The film, however, made its greater impact with Oscar trackers who’ve penciled the film in for a Best Picture nomination, at the very least.
Scott Feinberg, awards analyst for The Hollywood Reporter, predicts noms in such categories as Picture, Director, Actor, Supporting Actor and multiple technical nods. “This should be just the start of a long awards road for Spielberg’s movie,” he writes.
Audiences teased by these early raves now have to wait for Nov. 8, when Spielberg’s Lincoln opens in limited release before expanding on Nov. 16. At least that’s right around the corner, metaphorically speaking. Does this early buzz have you more excited to see Lincoln than you were a few days ago?
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Sean O'ConnellFandango Bloggers
Sean is a film reviewer for The Washington Post and daily contributor to Fandango.