I’d love to read a longish, fully-sourced, deep-drill article about why Steven Spielberg‘s Lincoln failed to win Best Picture, but Melena Ryzik‘s 2.27 Oscar aftermath piece in the N.Y. Times only scratches the surface.
Key passage: “This season, insiders said, the team behind Lincoln — executives at DreamWorks and Disney — overcampaigned, leaving voters with the unpleasant feeling that they were being force-fed a highly burnished history lesson. ‘It was a good movie, not sliced bread,’ one veteran awards watcher said.”
But in precisely what ways did D&D ostensibly over-sell it? The “insiders” might be partly referring to Bill Clinton‘s plug at the Golden Globes, but in what other ways? C’mon, let’s see the list and hear what various people have to say about whatever worked or didn’t work.
Grantland‘s Mark Harris, the husband of Lincoln screenwriter Tony Kushner, has tweeted the following about Ryzik’s article: “You can buy the ‘Lincoln overcampaigned’ theory or not, but the blanket granting of anonymity in this story is cheap.”
Another possible reason Lincoln didn’t make it , says Ryzik, is that it was “dimly illuminated, to replicate the lighting of the period, and stuffed with long passages of speechifying by waistcoated, bearded men,” and so “the film did not play well on DVD screeners.” She mentions cynical talk that Spielberg “was primed for a takedown — envy being as motivating a force as greed in this industry — and that voters were enthralled by the comeback story that [Argo‘s Ben] Affleck represented.”