Sunday, April 21, 2024

“Lincoln” All Star NYC Screening Brings Spielberg, Stars


Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” finally got a New York City screening at the Ziegfeld and the stars came out for it. It wasn’t a premiere– I think that was in L.A. And we’d already seen an early version of “Lincoln” at the New York Film Festival. It’s been slightly changed but not much since then. On second viewing, though, “Lincoln” is better than ever– a sweeping epic, an intimate portrait, with a lot of humor and many dazzling moments. There are three to-be-nominated Oscar performances in Daniel Day Lewis, Sally Field, and Tommy Lee Jones. Directing, adapted screenplay, cinematography, makeup, and costumes are all going to be acknowledged.

“Lincoln” is a great film in a great year. Really: we have “Silver Linings Playbook,” “Flight,” and “Argo” all now, “Les Miserables,” “Django Unchained,” and “Zero Dark Thirty” coming, and these are just awards movies. Hollywood has knocked itself out this Christmas.

At the “Lincoln” screening: besides the peeps associated with the film were Anne Hathaway with new husband Adam Schulman, Tony Bennett, Amy Ryan, Judd Hirsch, Tony Danza, Lorraine Bracco with daughter Stella, Matthew Settle, “Precious” screenwriter Geoffrey Fletcher who just sold his new movie, “Violet and Daisy,” to Cinedigm; record mogul Clive Davis, Heather Matarazzo, Saul Rubinek, DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus, “Silver Linings” producer Bruce Cohen, and our pal Tovah Feldshuh with husband Andy Levy.

Spielberg spoke to the crowd, which consisted of several guilds including SAG. The “LIncoln” ensemble had just come from doing screenings and Q&A’s for the Directors Guild and the National Board of Review, and a few other things, too. They looked exhausted. But Sally Field was chipper (I have a separate interview with her). Daniel Day Lewis was happy to see wife Rebecca Miller (publishing her second novel in March ’13) and her aunt, the famed Joan Copeland. Tommy Lee Jones, Gloria Reuben, Michael Stuhlbarg, James Spader were all there as were several of the wonderful supporting players like Peter Raymond, Stephen Henderson, Peter McRobbie and so on. Doris Kearns Goodwin, the renowned author of “Team of Rivals,” the book upon which Tony Kushner based “Lincoln,”  was also in the mix.

Also there for some reason I couldn’t figure out: tabloid pin up Kellan Lutz, whose name I have never typed before. For some reason, he wanted his picture taken with the “Lincoln” cast. Good for him!

“Lincoln” is in limited release right now, but expands soon. The version we saw last night was a little trimmer than the original, but it’s still a massive instant classic. DDL, going for his third Oscar, simply inhabits Lincoln to the point where you forget it’s an actor. He gives, as usual, a breathtaking performance. Field and Jones are spectacular. Sally Field is likely to win her third Oscar as Mary Todd Lincoln. And then there so many wonderful second tier supporting roles–David Straithairn, Hal Holbrook, Joseph Gordon Levitt and Joseph Cross.

Buried in the credits of this huge cast– and I didn’t actually see them– are Oscar winner Kevin Kline and Jean Kennedy Smith, last surviving sibling of the original Kennedy clan.

PS Anne Hathaway had to excuse herself toward the end of the film, then ran back and stood in the back of the theater to watch the ending. The star of “Les Miserables” told me: “It’s amazing. I want to see it again.”


Photo c2012 Showbiz411


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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