When I posted my review of Steven Spielberg's schmaltzy period epic War Horse and gave it a "D" the first comment began with "You sir, are not a critic." Very well, I call it as I see it no matter what some may think and stand by that review.
However, based on the way War Horse was marketed by DreamWorks and the folks at Disney compared to the way they have embraced and opened up a full-on marketing blitz for Spielberg's new film, Lincoln, I'm led to believe they see this one a little differently. It leads me to believe there must be something to the buzz surrounding the quality of his latest feature.
Following online Q&As, trailer premieres and "surprise" festival screenings, the latest stop on the Lincoln marketing express finds Spielberg in front of the camera giving an interview to "60 Minutes", which is now online for you to take in. However, don't expect just another puff piece on the film, like the surprisingly solid Q&A, this one has a lot more to it.
Spielberg spoke of his impression of the 16th President, played by Daniel Day-Lewis in the film, saying, "I saw a paternal father figure, someone who was stubbornly committed to his ideals... He was living with two agendas, both of which had to do with healing: to abolish slavery/end the war, but he also had his personal life, and I think there's darkness there."
Personally, my interest in Spielberg's films has continued to decline as of late. 2002's Catch Me If You Can was the last film of his I would say I enjoyed, upon reflection, and all three of his most recent films were misfires in my book. Yet, Lincoln has me intrigued.
Spielberg's filmography is impressive, even for a dissenter such as myself who still has more from the filmmaker to explore, which is the #1 reason his debut feature film The Sugarland Express will be featured as a RopeofSilicon Movie Club selection on November 5th.
Beyond all that, there's an impression you get watching this "60 Minutes" feature that Lincoln was a rather personal film for Spielberg (like virtually all of his films) and perhaps it's one of the reasons it took so long to get it made -- he wanted to get it just right. I hope he has, I'm seeing it very soon and would love to finally find reason to praise his work once again.
The "60 Minutes" segment can be watched directly below, which features more than just Spielberg, but you'll see a piece of one of his early films, words from his father, longtime composer John Williams and his mother telling a story of a young Steven peanut buttering the windows of his neighbors for reasons you have to watch to hear... I don't want to spoil the piece.