We all knew this was going to be good, but up until viewing the newly released trailer for Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, I was hesitant to label this an epic. Well, after viewing these two minutes, I think that is exactly what we will be dealing with once this film hits theaters on November 16th. In the direction that Hollywood has been heading in recent years, could this be the last great, big-budget historical epic? One would certainly hope not, but this will definitely have to serve as our Civil War fill, at least for a while. This trailer has given us a little bit of everything, not just glimpses of what are sure to be Academy Award-nominated performances from Daniel Day-Lewis and Tommy Lee Jones, as Thaddeus Stevens, (I’m also looking forward to Hal Holbrook’s performance and will bet you everything I own that the score from John Williams will win him his sixth Oscar) but of all the other items that are going to shape this film. A pleasant surprise to me here is the inclusion of battle scenes, and what looks like Richmond burning. Though marketed as a biopic, the scope of the storyline may be a lot more vast than we could have ever imagined, hence the usage of the word “epic”.
There is also going to be plenty of political related dialogue, both in government and “behind-the-scenes”, that will detail the trials and tribulations that the President went through during the last months of the war, including the difficulty he faced in trying to free the slaves, which became one of the goals for the Union as the Civil War progressed. Most important of all, though, will be a humanistic approach to Abraham Lincoln, a man so steeped in myth and heroics that sometimes we forget that he was a human being. One of the closing shots of this trailer shows him sitting with his young son on his lap, and moments like those are what will bring this man alive for audiences.
The film is going to be out on November 16th, and that date cannot come soon enough. I plan on being in the theaters at one of the earliest showings possible, this coming from someone who has not been to a movie theater since 2009, when I saw Gran Torino. I am very excited and hope that I can blog some more about this film (the past includes this little tidbit from May), but given its not-so-easy access to people involved, unlike previous films I have blogged out, I’m not sure that will happen—maybe I’ll just observe from a far! Either way, it is still an exciting time for history buffs.