Trailer Watch: Lincoln

The fall movie season is usually a time when studios begin toting out the the films they believe will be awards (Oscar) contenders. These types of films are usually more dramatic and serious in nature but sometimes can also be epic and very cinematic. Case in point, Les Misérables and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey; both are based on books and both are bringing forth hugely cinematic visions for audiences that hope to connect not only on a visual level, but a nostalgic and emotional one as well. It’s about par for the course for the fall movie season–you can’t just have action and nice visuals to anchor your story. You also have to have a plot.

Which brings us to Lincoln. The latest film from Steven Spielberg was an interesting choice when I first heard it was announced a year or two ago, mainly because it’s not the sort of thing you think of when you think Steven Spielberg. Abraham Lincoln, the United States’ 16th president? Remember now, this is the guy that made us believe dinosaurs and aliens are real. However, after looking over Spielberg’s filmography, the man does have a diverse selection of films that he’s worked on.

President Lincoln having a personal conversation during a Maryland downpour.

The first thing that struck me after watching the trailer was the sheer epic scope of the film. Yes, I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, I’m a sucker for production value; and you won’t find more of it than you will in Lincoln. From the battlefields of the Civil War to the steps of the capitol with thousands of people to the period garb and sets . . . everything looks great and looks like we’re looking into a window of the past.

The many faces of Daniel Day-Lewis.

The second thing that blew me away was how much Daniel Day-Lewis seems to embody our 16th president. Before the trailer I saw a few stills of Day-Lewis on set in makeup, but that didn’t prepare me for how authentic he looks as Lincoln in the trailer. Now I’m sure we’ve all seen pictures of Abraham Lincoln, hell, we see one every time we bust out a $5 bill; but the way Daniel Day-Lewis looks, speaks, and carries himself in the trailer . . . that’s the way I’d envision the president. He butchered Liam Neeson in Gangs of New York and he also drank our milkshakes in There Will Be Blood, but it seems as if Daniel Day-Lewis is set to add another memorable character to his filmography.

Finally, prepare yourself for the ultimate history lesson. There’s definitely a lot of philosophical speak about slavery, freedom, and righteousness going on in the trailer; but I didn’t find them boring at all and it actually got me a little excited. How excited? Well let’s just say that after watching the trailer I wanted to go outside and raise the American flag in front of my house (if only I had flagpole or even an American flag).

Steven Spielberg on the set of his last film, War Horse.

Nobody knows how to do historical dramas like Steven Spielberg (Schindler’s List, Amistad, Munich) so I’m definitely excited to see Lincoln after seeing this first trailer. A lot of the elements that you come to expect from a Spielberg film seem to be here and seem to have resonance. I wasn’t too into last year’s Spielberg joint War Horse and in fact preferred his Tintin collaboration with Peter Jackson of the two films that he had last year; so Lincoln definitely looks like a Spielberg film that we can get excited for.

Are you excited to see Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln after seeing the trailer? Let us know in the comments.

Lincoln makes its way to theaters on November 16.

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