Just as Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo” made a surprise appearance at last year’s New York Film Festival, Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” was the sneak showing this year.
They took everyone’s electronic devices as they entered the screening and asked everyone to not review it. Therefore, The Hollywood Reporter concentrated on the awards prospects for the film, citing likely nominations for best picture, best director, best actor for Daniel Day-Lewis (whose performance THR compared to Henry Fonda’s iconic version in “Young Mr. Lincoln”), and possible best supporting nominations for Tommy Lee Jones and Sally Field, plus Tony Kushner’s screenplay, and the tech categories you’d expect from a Spielberg film. Basically, they implied that if you were unimpressed by the first trailer but felt better about the second, you’ll see that the hope from the second is delivered.
ComingSoon, on the other hand, well, reviewed it. You can read that here. In summary, they felt it was very good, with a brilliant screenplay and performances, but some dead spots and sub-plots that don’t pan out.
Deadline mostly discussed the Q&A after the screening with Spielberg and others. Spielberg talked about how he asked to have the film released after the election, so it wouldn’t be turned into a “political football.” He also said yes, there is tons of historical evidence supporting Day-Lewis’s choice of a high, reedy voice for Lincoln.
So…there you go. Early word on Lincoln. It opens November 9th in limited release, then goes wide on November 16th.