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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Lincoln (film)

   
Author Topic: Lincoln (film)
Blayne Bradley
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I cried in that first 5 minute scene where the African American soldier repeated the remaining verse of the Gettysburg address, anyone else?
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SteveRogers
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I haven't had a chance to see this movie yet unfortunately. The way things are going it's unlikely I'll see it until the home release.

But it is a historical epic directed by Steven Spielberg. If there aren't tears, then you're not doing it right.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Blayne Bradley:
I cried in that first 5 minute scene where the African American soldier repeated the remaining verse of the Gettysburg address, anyone else?

I thought it was one of the more contrived, boring scenes of the movie.

I did get some pretty serious goose bumps during the scene when Lincoln berates his cabinet over the 13th amendment.

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
quote:
Originally posted by Blayne Bradley:
I cried in that first 5 minute scene where the African American soldier repeated the remaining verse of the Gettysburg address, anyone else?

I thought it was one of the more contrived, boring scenes of the movie.

I did get some pretty serious goose bumps during the scene when Lincoln berates his cabinet over the 13th amendment.

Yes, and yes. Also when Thadeus Stevens is taking the heat from his party for seemingly selling out his principles, when in reality, he was recognizing that he needed to wedge the chisel in before he could strike it with the hammer.

edit: I thought to myself, "Crap Thadeus, I don't know if there *is* a right answer!"

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Lyrhawn
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Just about every scene that took place in the Senate chamber was fairly gripping.

The two firebrands against the amendment played by Lee Pace and what's his name were incredibly compelling. Jones' lines as Stevens were biting and well-delivered, and the drama in the room, basically a play for how much of it was just standing and talking, was excellent.

I loved the stuff near the end when Stevens had to hold his tongue and moderate his position, and Hal Holbrooke's role behind the scenes and in the wings had me on the edge of my seat as well.

The strength of the powerhouse cast simply cannot be complimented enough.

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Dogbreath
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
I thought it was one of the more contrived, boring scenes of the movie.

Agreed, it's a pretty jarring moment compared to the tone rest of the movie. I spent a while trying to figure out why Spielberg put it in and decided that, since the rest of the movie is almost entirely conversations, it was to establish a strong connection to the actual war and the men who were fighting it, so that in later scenes (i.e, when Lincoln decides stall the commissioners and prolong the war in order to ensure the 13th Amendment passes) the audience better empathizes with the enormous cost in human lives and the thousands of soldiers he's condemning to die in that moment - and also realizes what's at stake if he *doesn't* do so.

All in all, though, I thought it was a brilliant film. I like how as much of it is focused on the men surrounding Lincoln - Seward, Stanton, Stevens especially (I'll be shocked if Tommy Lee Jones doesn't at least get an Oscar nomination), as well as Mary and Robert, and how it portrays Lincoln as a brilliant politician, dynamic speaker, and, well, human, as opposed to a wise, noble, stuffy patriarch letting fly deep meaningful platitudes every other sentence is a deep gravelly voice. (which is the depiction of Lincoln I'm used to)

My biggest complaint (and one echoed by my entire family, with whom I saw the movie) is I feel the movie ended at the wrong place. I felt it should have ended with him leaving the White House for the last time for Ford's Theater, with a cut to his 2nd inaugural address. Everything about that scene sets it up to be the closing scene of the movie - it even fades to black... then the next scene is his assassination. It just feels out of place and jarring. (though I feel it's almost worth it just to have Stanton's "Now he belongs to the Ages." be the last line of the movie (not counting the epilogue, which was also brilliant))

I highly, highly recommend seeing it. It's just excellent.

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JonHecht
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I haven't seen it yet and don't want to know what happens. Can there be a spoiler warning or something?
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SteveRogers
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quote:
Originally posted by JonHecht:
I haven't seen it yet and don't want to know what happens. Can there be a spoiler warning or something?

[ROFL]
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stilesbn
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quote:
I thought it was one of the more contrived, boring scenes of the movie.

I did get some pretty serious goose bumps during the scene when Lincoln berates his cabinet over the 13th amendment.

Haven't seen the movie but I find myself thinking things like this a lot. Things that move other people seem fake or like bad acting to me. On the flip side though, I think things that affect me (whether it evokes tears or laughter or both) are probably looked at as fake and bad acting by most other people. I guess it's all a matter of personal taste.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by stilesbn:
quote:
I thought it was one of the more contrived, boring scenes of the movie.

I did get some pretty serious goose bumps during the scene when Lincoln berates his cabinet over the 13th amendment.

Haven't seen the movie but I find myself thinking things like this a lot. Things that move other people seem fake or like bad acting to me. On the flip side though, I think things that affect me (whether it evokes tears or laughter or both) are probably looked at as fake and bad acting by most other people. I guess it's all a matter of personal taste.
See they could have still had that scene, and it wouldn't have felt as contrived. The speech could have been recited by an African American who could then have made the point, "So what are you going to do about it?" Which would have given some impetus to Lincoln's latter laser focus on getting the amendment passed so quickly.

Instead it felt like an awkward conversation where four guys recite stuff to the guy who wrote it, while he sits there smiling. What was Lincoln thinking? It's not covered, it just felt like a scene created so the speech could fit somewhere.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
it just felt like a scene created so the speech could fit somewhere.
Exactly.

Even Lincoln tried to stop them, probably because he's just sick of people quoting his own speech to him. That was the only morsel of that scene I found interesting, because it gives us a clue as to what he thinks of the speech and how its already entered public myth and memory. But they didn't do anything with that angle, they just left it hanging.

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Samprimary
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haven't seen yet, are there any scenes resembling this:

EXTERIOR

CUT TO: SCENE OF HAPPY NEGROES

Negroes: We're happy! Horray!

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umberhulk
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I'd actually like to see a movie about the underground railroad.
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Dogbreath
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Sam: Do you really have to ask?
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
haven't seen yet, are there any scenes resembling this:

EXTERIOR

CUT TO: SCENE OF HAPPY NEGROES

Negroes: We're happy! Horray!

Actually, I'm not sure that there were.
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Blayne Bradley
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There were none.

In the first scene you had two, one was fairly bubbly to talk with Lincoln, but his buddy was complaining as to why there weren't any black officers yet with a fairly solid argument, he's the one that actually recited the passage which to me seemed like a subtle reminder of "Hey, still a long way to go".

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Blayne Bradley
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"How can I hold that all men are created equal, when here before me stands stinking, the moral carcass of the gentleman from Ohio. PROOF! that some men are inferior, endowed by their maker with dim wits, impermeable to reason with cold pallid slime in their veins instead of HOT RED BLOOD! YOU! Are more reptile than man George, so low and flat that the foot of man is incapable of crushing you."

-Thaddeus Stevens [Big Grin]

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Rakeesh
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Subtle? It was a sledgehammer! And as much as I do love that speech, and can usually stand to hear it well recited, I agree with what others have said-it felt artificial. Probably because I already *knew* the speech, nearly word for word at least (it is quite succinct!), the effect was worse.

But also like others, I very much enjoyed the movie and hopefully if it's still in one of my local theaters will see it again.

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Uprooted
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quote:
Originally posted by Dogbreath:

My biggest complaint (and one echoed by my entire family, with whom I saw the movie) is I feel the movie ended at the wrong place. I felt it should have ended with him leaving the White House for the last time for Ford's Theater, with a cut to his 2nd inaugural address. Everything about that scene sets it up to be the closing scene of the movie - it even fades to black... then the next scene is his assassination. It just feels out of place and jarring.

Agree completely. I was sure that was the ending, and the rest of it just felt like "well is it over now?"
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