Oh, right! I saw that one! So that makes two Best Picture nominees of 2012 that I've seen, the other being Argo. So I've seen all the important ones. I believe this marks the first time an actor in a Spielberg film has won an Oscar, and deservedly so. Well, Sean Penn and Hilary Swank already have proven that an actor can win a second after a five year hiatus.
Also, just as Spielberg pushed the PG rating in 1984 with Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, so now he pushes the PG-13 rating with the opening sequence of Lincoln, it being reminiscent of the D-Day sequence at the beginning of Saving Private Ryan, but much, much shorter. And of course the black dude gets it first... oh, dude! This one black guy gets three bayonets in his ass at one point! I mean, solar plexus. The rest of the film is brought down to PG-13 levels after that; however, if I do remember correctly, there is more than one "F-word" in it, so kudos to Spielberg for thumbing his nose at the MPAA.
Now, my loyal viewing companion complained that the film is too much like a documentary, which ought to please Spielberg, of course. It's a well-made film, carried aloft by the detailed view of history. Now, some have cynically compared it to Obama's current woes with getting legislation passed, but I prefer to think of it as a combination of Obama's life and Spielberg's own life, particularly the sequence where Lincoln's in the War Room waiting for one particular bit of good news, and he starts telling a story about Ethan Allen. It's a view of the Civil War far removed from the emotionally-charged battlefields we're more accustomed to seeing. I wonder if Spielberg himself is getting to the point where he bends the ears of his underlings a little too much these days. Lord knows he's earned it.
I will complain that the big reveal with Tommy Lee Jones' character was maybe a little too cute, but that's just me. Jones was great and probably should've won, too. I guess I just yearn for the Spielberg of my youth: the Amazing Stories Spielberg, the Always Spielberg, the producer of films like *Batteries Not Included Spielberg. Don't you? Seriously, though, it's another fine addition to Spielberg's body of work, and I look forward to seeing it again sometime in the future.
-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan