"Lincoln," November 9th (Dreamworks):
One of the clear awards season hopefuls is "Lincoln," director Steven Spielberg's sweeping historical epic starring Daniel Day-Lewis as the ill-fated U.S. president who helped push through the abolition of slavery.
In the first full-length trailer, "Lincoln" carries the soft, somber tone of John Williams' score and long speeches about the nature of slavery and freedom, which is to be expected from the director who brought us films like "Amistad" and "Saving Private Ryan."
Not surprisingly, Day-Lewis looks like a pitch-perfect match as Abraham Lincoln, who carried the weight of the entire nation on his shoulders as he presided over the bloody Civil War in the early 1860s.
But "Lincoln" also looks to be much more than a star vehicle for Day-Lewis, as the cast features Tommy Lee Jones, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, David Strathairn and Hal Holbrook. Sally Field also co-stars as Lincoln's dutiful wife, Mary, and Jared Harris of "Mad Men" and the latest "Sherlock Holmes" looks nothing short of spot-on as General Ulysses Grant.
While we all know how Lincoln's story ended up in reality, we'll have to turn out to see what Spielberg was able to do with the material, not to mention glimpse how good Day-Lewis is as the iconic U.S. president.
Spielberg has made some great historical films ("Schindler's List," "Munich," "Saving Private Ryan") and a couple that have been too straight-forward and stuffy for their own good ("Empire of the Sun," "War Horse"). Judging by the promising but fairly routine trailer, "Lincoln" seems like it could go either way.
The trailer for "Lincoln" can be viewed here.
Box office outlook:
Spielberg films have been divided into two groups: the mega-blockbusters ("Indiana Jones," "Jurassic Park," "War of the Worlds") and the smaller releases with more artistic intentions.
Like "Amistad" and "Munich," Lincoln is clearly aiming for more serious adult audiences, though a great cast and well-known subject matter does suggest that there could be some crossover appeal.
If Day-Lewis and Spielberg can gather some awards season buzz, "Lincoln" could really catch on with adult audiences and end up one of the highest grossing dramas of the fall/winter.
by RTT Staff Writer
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