In the view of The Playlist‘s Rodrigo Perez, Steven Spielberg‘s Lincoln “isn’t all slow and dull. It has occasional sparks, some tremendous actors doing estimable work and its climax is perhaps the most dynamic and thrilling representation of a body of people voting on any law in the history of film. But it’s not especially remarkable, enjoyable or wholly compelling.
“This is the first review? This? Fine. I don’t really care what this Perez guy says anyway.”
Lincoln is “characterized by its restraint, passionate convictions and patience. If Spielberg’s worst tendencies are his propensity for the sentimental and overwrought (i.e., War Horse), Lincoln thankfully possesses almost none of those unfortunate traits.
“However, as a two-hour procedural about the ratification of an amendment in the House Of Representatives (does anything sound more appealing as a premise to you?), Lincoln is also not exactly the most engaging nor well-paced picture either.
“Pitched somewhere between the staid nature of Amistad, Schindler’s List and the far less treacly and inspiring latter half of War Horse, Spielberg himself unveiled an ‘unfinished’ screening of Lincoln at the New York Film Festival. But to the untrained eye, it would be difficult to discern what exactly was incomplete other than a minutely-detailed framework that could use a much tighter pace and rhythm.”
“While admirable in its unwavering and committed portrait of an inherently mostly undramatic subject (the approbation of a constitutional amendment, albeit, perhaps the most important one in history), ultimately Lincoln reads like a semi-compelling history lesson; the type teachers showed to you in school when they saw your eyes glazing over prerequisite text (one you need to know, but not one you’re likely going to seek out on your own).
“With 10 Best Picture nominations available, it seems Lincoln should easily procure one of the ten slots, but it would be a surprise to see the film become a threat beyond the actors. Even then Daniel Day-Lewis is perhaps a little too subtle and in-the-pocket for a win and if there’s a stand-out, it’s likely Tommy Lee Jones who should be a sure-fire nominee in the Best Supporting category.”