I still don’t like the sound of Daniel Day Lewis‘s Lincoln voice. I almost hate it, in a way. It’s flat, undistinctive, unimpressive, Matthew Modine-ish. (And that’s not a putdown of Modine.) It’s hard to describe what I was looking to hear, but this isn’t it. And I dearly love the voices that Lewis has given us over the years. The fault, of course, is Spielberg’s — he didn’t push Lewis hard enough, he let well enough alone.
Somehow or some way, the voice of a legendary figure has to sound “legendary.” It has to have a certain sit-up-and-pay-attention quality. If the gravelly voiced George C. Scott had decided to imitate the actual voice of George S. Patton, it’s quite possible his performance in Franklin Schaffner’s 1970 biopic Patton might not have led to a Best Actor Oscar. Listen to the Real McCoy — who would wanted to hang out with a guy who sounded like this for 170 minutes?
And that John Williams uplift music…momentous responsibility has been put in our hands, gentlemen, blah, blah….it is time for us to defeat slavery, blah, blah…God!