On one hand I was almost repulsed by Lesley Stahl‘s insipid narration of last night’s 60 Minutes segment on Steven Spielberg. (That fawning tone when she spoke of how E.T. “touched us”…yeesh!) On the other I wrote a Disney publicist this morning and asked for the third or fourth time when I might be allowed to see Lincoln. I can’t seem to harbor a pure, unconflicted thought about this film. Then again what thoughts matter without my having seen it?
“I think you’ve made your point in keeping me away from this film,” I said to the Disney rep, “but I’ve read the reactions about Lincoln clearly avoiding the oppressive sentimentality of War Horse and that Daniel Day Lewis delivering ** a highly commendable performance, at the very least.”
Spielberg told Stahl that “I knew I could do the action in my sleep at this point in my career. In my life, the action doesn’t hold any…it doesn’t attract me anymore.” And yet he’s in pre-production on Robopocalypse and is apparently open to making another Indiana Jones film.
** Last night TheWrap‘s Steve Pond called DDL’s performance “utterly commanding and absolutely undeniable as a charismatic and pragmatic man who has been beaten down by years of civil war and political fights…the world-weariness and pain that Day-Lewis shows in every frame helps save Spielberg from his worst impulses toward grandiosity and overstatement.”
Pond added that “the folks who came out of the New York Film Festival raving about Lincoln…were probably a little more excited than they should have been, the verdict from this coast, absent the enthusiasm of an excited film-festival audience, is more muted.”