Return of Lou-Lou Lincoln

Lou Lumenick‘s 9.21 N.Y. Post story about a Lincoln sneak last Tuesday night in Paramus, N.J. story was up yesterday afternoon and then it went down, apparently due to a software upgrade. And then it re-appeared early this morning. I thought it might be a little snarky to quote one New Jersey guy who might be the new Andre Bazin (who knows?) or some Jersey Shore Guido about Steven Spielberg‘s latest, but Lumenick has definitely posted his story — that’s a fact — so let the cards lay and the chips fall.

Andre Guido Bazin praised Daniel Day Lewis‘s lead performance but he called Lincoln boring and suffocating with too many low-lit interior talking scenes — no slaves, burning of Atlanta-type scenes, no battles, no Civil War horrors, no cranked-up thrills.

“What an absolutely disgusting, loathsome, toenail-fungus lowlife!,” a colleague more or less said after reading the Lumenick story last night, reflexing trying to protect the Spielberg brand. “What a wretched piece of stinking scum he must be!”

Lumenick is more even-handed in his story.

“Please keep in mind that changes — possibly substantial ones — can be made right up until its world premiere at the AFI Fest in Los Angeles on November 8, the day before Lincoln’ opens wide in theaters,” Lumenick cautions. “So take this with at least a grain of salt.

“‘The performances of Daniel Day-Lewis, Tommy Lee Jones, and Hal Holbrook were great,’ wrote this person, a passionate moviegoer who is not connected with the film industry. He flatly predicts that Day-Lewis will get a Best Picture nomination in the title role, and says that Sally Field was miscast as Mrs. Lincoln, [and that] Joseph Gordon Levitt as Lincoln’s eldest son was okay but he really didn’t add anything to the story.

“‘My biggest issue with the film as a whole was, it was boring,” the civilian viewer wrote. ‘With the film centering on the vote for the 13th amendment, ending slavery and the Civil War, you’d think Spielberg would have made a more exciting, riveting film. So much of the story takes place in small, smoky dark rooms with Lincoln talking to one or two people, that my mind began to wander. It felt claustrophobic.

“”If he had shown the horrors of slavery and the Civil War, it might have evened out the story. They pretty much kept the film centered around the politicians.’

Lumenick concluded the story by writing “I’m a big Spielberg fan, and I hope Lincoln works. If there are indeed problems with Lincoln‘ — and, keep in mind, this is one nonprofessional’s opinion — Spielberg has seven weeks to try and fix things like, say, the pacing. And as Spielberg [once noted], test screenings can be deceiving. Close Encounters certainly worked out okay.”

  • trimmer

    (Psst — Best Actor nom, not Best Picture nom)

  • Rashad

    What is your colleague talking about?

  • C.C. Baxter

    Not to put to fine of point on it, but people who complain of movies being talky, boring, or slow are generally mouth-breathing morons. I think I’ll wait until an actually critic sets eyes on it before drawing any sort of conclusion.

  • roquentin

    There’s really no point in saying this and taking the bait, but…

    If this were three months ago, and Lou Lumenick had posted the exact same story about The Master – too slow, too claustrophobic, not enough WWII scenes – Jeff would be immediately attacking this guy as a NJ mouth-breather and saying, “prudence everyone, let’s not get too worked up about one moron’s opinion”.

  • MarkJ

    Spielberg has said all along there are no big battle scenes or set pieces. The trailer was the best i’ve seen in ages, can’t wait to see the film.

  • Gabe@ThePlaylist

    This was not worth posting.

  • Jeffrey Wells

    Wells to Gabe The Playlist: Of course it was! What planet are you from?

    You cred is shot after asserting yourself as the lone, snarly grouch in the corner on The Silver Linings Playbook.

  • Ray DeRousse

    So now we’re complaining that a movie DOESN’T have enough action and has too much conversation? Wasn’t it the opposite last week?

  • cinefan

    I have no idea who this anonymous critic is but his assessment makes me more, not less, eager to see the film. Personally, I don’t want to see Spielberg do Saving Private Ryan in a Civil War setting. If you’re interested in seeing authentic Civil War battle scenes, rent Glory or Gettysburg.

    I love the idea of Spielberg doing an intelligent All the President’s Men type-procedural about how Lincoln handled his cabinet and successfully managed the Civil War behind the scenes, being forced to work with both a divided Congress and a divided Cabinet. A Team of Rivals is a riveting read, even if it does focus on “conversations” and personalities rather than the bloody battles of the Civil War.

  • JLC

    “‘What an absolutely disgusting, loathsome, toenail-fungus lowlife!,’ a colleague more or less said…”

    Did the “colleague” also mumble something about a ring and say “My Preciousssss” a lot?