Thursday, April 25, 2013
IMDb plot summary: As the Civil War continues to rage, America's president struggles with continuing carnage on the battlefield and as he fights with many inside his own cabinet on the decision to emancipate the slaves.
Directed by Steven Spielberg. Starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, and David Strathairn.
Wow. This year's nominees have all been pretty underwhelming for me thus far.
There's nothing really *wrong* with this movie. The writing's good. The acting's good. It's a solid story. But in the end, it felt like a biblical fiction novel. There's a whole genre of books out there that retell Bible stories as novels, so all your favorite Bible characters show up... and then they just calmly walk through the events, without fleshing out their character, creating any real sense of drama, or making me care at all about what's happening. I had the exact same feeling here: I knew I was *supposed* to care, but I never felt like I was watching an actual person, just a historical figure. Given Daniel Day-Lewis' great acting chops, Steven Spielberg's very personal directing style, and Tony Kushner's fantastic writing capabilities, I have no idea what went wrong for me here... but just a few hours after having watched it, I struggle to remember my reaction to it. 3 stars.
Flickchart: #1140 out of 1910, below Hustle & Flow and above Total Recall (1990).