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November 07, 2012

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Grant L

Great review, with only one correction: shouldn't "It's his prudent council.." be "counsel"? Or am I just ignorant of that usage of "council"?

Glenn Kenny

No, "council" is used properly, as in "advice" but I guess by writing "It's his prudent council" I could be seen as referring to Seward in relation to Lincoln, but what I'm saying is that Seward's seemingly prudent advice is that Lincoln wait things out.

Josh Z

I believe that Grant is still correct. "Counsel" is advice or the act of giving advice. "Council" is a group of people who act in an advisory or legislative capacity.

Glenn Kenny

Thanks. I don't know what else to say. This has been a busy overheated time with a lot of personal concerns that I haven't discussed because I just consider it unseemly. I suppose I have been even more mistake prone than usual. I'm going to leave it at that.

Tom Block

Isn't "a busy overheated time" redundant?

Brian Dauth

What if one is running around in a snowstorm wearing only a t-shirt and gym shorts?

James

A what? A period piece?

Tom Carson

Wot, not one mention of Jackie Earle Haley? For those of us geek enough to know this or that about Confederate Vice Presidents (meaning one), that scene is killah.

David Ehrenstein

I saw it last night and cannot agree with you in any respect. It's "Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln: The Movie." And I daresay the automaton at Disneyland that replicates Lincoln is a lot livelier than Daniel Day Lewis.

It's all about how slavery was repealed -- with African-Americans occasionally allowed to slide into the dark-mottled-with-patches-of-light compositions (pretentious and tiresome in the extreme -- as if it were a crime to fully light a shot) Slavery may be over along with Jim Crow but clearly Speilberg got these players from "Rent-a-Negro" as they are nothing more than cardboard.

Sally Field is fine as alwayst, but it was exceedingly hard to resist the temptaton to take a nap during this thing -- cerain to bore high school students draged their by teir history teachers in perpetuity. "White Elephant" Art" precisely as Manny Farber described it -- in all it's puffed-up pseudo-glory.

billythrilly

Does anyone else get the feeling David Ehrenstein's posts have so many spelling mistakes because he's always choking on his own rage as he types them?

David Ehrenstein

It's 7:14 and I need another cup of coffee.

As for my "rage" go shove it up Dinesh D'Sousa's flaccid ass.

Nikki@jamaicansayings

So many movies have come out recently on Abe Lincoln. I wanted to see one that was actually a sci fi film.

The only thing that interests me about the current film, when compared to the others, is that Johnny Quino actually seems to have gotten a decent role this time. I'm tired of seeing him made to play a stereotype.

MDL

What do you know, David Ehrenstein and Rex Reed are in agreement on this movie. Ha. I jest. Most of the critics seem to like the film. Looking forward to it - fake beards and all.

Oliver_C

I'd say Dinesh D'Souza's ass is sore enough already (metaphorically speaking).

J. Priest

"It's all about how slavery was repealed -- with African-Americans occasionally allowed to slide into the dark-mottled-with-patches-of-light compositions (pretentious and tiresome in the extreme -- as if it were a crime to fully light a shot) Slavery may be over along with Jim Crow but clearly Speilberg got these players from "Rent-a-Negro" as they are nothing more than cardboard."

I still liked the film, but I think Ehrenstein brought up a valid point. The African-Americans in "Lincoln" are not much more than context, and they certainly don't feel as realized as other supporting figures in the picture. You can't single out "Lincoln" - this is a common problem with a lot of historical depictions of this nature. Spielberg's other films have been subject to similar complaints, but you see this all the time elsewhere, even in documentaries.

kdringg

Ehrenstein offers very little film criticism here other than stating the African-American characters are cardboard. He then uses a HIGHLY RACIST comment about where the Berg got them from.

Weak.

Out-smarting the film by listing artistic choices you clearly would not have made(e.g. lighting) is not quite acceptable film criticism now is it?

I clicked on your review hoping for some film criticism but what did I find? A bunch of YouTube clips from other Lincoln films sprinkled with a few sentences.

Seriously?

Don't you have to critically asses WHAT IS ON THE SCREEN and not what YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE MOVIE?

J. Priest

Re: the use of African-American characters, the NY Times just published an op-ed that delves more into the issue:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/13/opinion/in-spielbergs-lincoln-passive-black-characters.html?pagewanted=2&_r=0&hp&pagewanted=all

David Ehrenstein

I'm just an ANGRY NEGRO kdringg

And that ain't the half of it -- now that Tony Kushner has weighed in

http://fablog.ehrensteinland.com/2012/11/15/abraham-lincoln-shirt-lifter/

Thomas Prieto

Did anyone else think that the lighting, composition, color palette, etc. were reminiscent of 19th century American paintings? Specifically, I was thinking along the lines of Thomas Eakins and Emanuel Leutze. My knowledge of 19th century American painting is rather slim, so please feel free to correct me. Thanks!

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