Poll Results: Best Movie President

It was close, but the victor is a recent Oscar winner:

Daniel Day-Lewis [Lincoln]

– Daniel Day-Lewis [Lincoln]: 8 votes
– Peter Sellers [Dr. Strangelove]: 7 votes
– Frank Langella [Frost/Nixon]: 5 votes
– Harrison Ford [Air Force One]: 4 votes
– Bill Pullman [Independence Day]: 4 votes
– Morgan Freeman [Deep Impact]: 3 votes
– Michael Douglas [The American President]: 2 votes
– Kevin Kline [Dave]: 2 votes

The write-ins:
– Terry Alan Crews [Idiocracy]: 1 vote (an inspired pick!)
– Jeff Bridges [The Contender]: 1 vote (probably should have included him in the main list)
– Philip Baker Hall [Secret Honor]: 1 vote (wasn’t aware of this film, sounds like one I should see)
– That dude in Lincoln the vampire slayer?!: 1 vote (hah, well played!)

No major surprise that Daniel Day-Lewis won yet another prestigious award here, though I have to admit I was pulling for Peter Sellers to at least manage a tie. Love the write-in votes this week, especially Terry Crews. Nice work everyone!

This Week’s Poll: Over the weekend, Netflix added a huge collection of Cartoon Network and Adult Swim shows to their Instant Watch service, and this inspired me to stay up way too late on Sunday evening watching cartoons (after catching the season premiere of Game of Thrones, of course). This got me thinking about animated TV shows in general, and naturally a poll came out of this. My question for you is: what is the best cartoon series of all time? So we don’t necessarily get a landslide victory, I am allowing for three votes. What do you think? Is The Simpsons a lock here? Or can there be a March Madness-style upset in the making?

Movie Review: Lincoln [2012]

Lincoln [2012]

Lincoln [2012]
Director: Steven Spielberg
Writers: Tony Kushner (screenplay), Doris Kearns Goodwin (book)
Genre: Biography/Drama
Starring: Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, David Strathairn, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, James Spader, Hal Holbrook, Tommy Lee Jones and John Hawkes
Running Time: 150 minutes

Steven Spielberg is back, folks.

After a decade full of less-than-impressive efforts, Spielberg’s Lincoln delivers the goods. It doesn’t hurt to have one of the most stellar casts in recent memory, but there’s still quite a bit of substance in this historical biopic.

Lincoln [2012]

Rather than serve as a biography of Abraham Lincoln’s entire life, the film focuses on the President’s push to pass the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865, an act which would formally abolish slavery in the entire country. Naturally, with a nation already divided due to the Civil War, passing this amendment is no easy feat. The Democrats are almost entirely against the idea of abolishing slavery, and the prospects of getting the 20 extra votes needed are dire. Yet Lincoln is a stubborn, but passionate, man who will not give up until his mission is complete, even against the wishes of his advisors.

This is such a critical moment in our nation’s history, and it’s remarkable to see this played out on screen. A tremendous amount of detail went into recreating this time period, with extra emphasis on the faithfully reconstructed costume design. The casting is also near perfection. Daniel Day-Lewis, of course, has been on the receiving end of constant praise for his portrayal of Lincoln, and he deserves every accolade thrown his way. Soft-spoken, intelligent and charismatic, Day-Lewis embodies the 16th President in a way that makes it incredibly clear why he was so beloved. In a career loaded with memorable performances, this may very well be his best, and it would be shocking if he didn’t win the Oscar.

Lincoln [2012]

The rest of the cast is stacked, to put it mildly. Just take a look at some of the names involved: Sally Field, David Strathairn, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, James Spader, Hal Holbrook, Tommy Lee Jones, John Hawkes, Jackie Earl Haley, Tim Blake Nelson, Lee Pace, Jared Harris. This is basically character actor heaven. Field and Jones have both earned Oscar nods for their performances as Mary Todd Lincoln and Thaddeus Stevens, respectively, and rightfully so. The trio of Hawkes, Spader and Nelson are especially entertaining as a group of chief negotiators who will go to any means necessary to sway/bribe the Democratic voters.

Lincoln isn’t a perfect film — Spielberg still has a habit of spelling things out for us (i.e. Mary Todd and others writing down notes such as “8 votes to win” just in case we didn’t know) — but it is a wholly engrossing one. With a heavy reliance on dialogue, the acting needs to be top-notch, and in this regard the film does not disappoint at all. Lincoln will likely clean up at the Oscars this year, and for once I will have little to complain about.