Lincoln Oscar Buzz Follows Screening at NY Festival

Steven Spielberg’s new film Lincoln is being tipped for Oscar success after a high profile ‘surprise’ screening at the New York Film Festival.

The film stars two-time Oscar winner Daniel Day-Lewis as America’s 16th president at the end of his tenure.

Critics in the audience took to Twitter to give their reactions, the majority of them positive, with some calling it Spielberg’s “best movie in years”.

Tommy Lee Jones and Sally Field are also being tipped for acting honours.

Lee Jones plays powerful Republican congressman Thaddeus Stevens, while Field play’s Lincoln’s wife, Mary Todd.

The response to the first screening, which became the festival’s hot ticket after being revealed at the end of last week, also put the film in the race for the best picture and best director Oscars.

The Hollywood Reporter compared the biopic, which sees Lincoln fighting for the passage of the 13th Amendment to abolish slavery, to Spielberg’s other historical films Schindler’s List and Saving Private Ryan.

“In short, Lincoln appears to be Oscar-bait incarnate. Spielberg, who has made a career of blurring the line between art and commerce, has risen to the occasion.”

The industry website added: “Although the film runs two hours and twenty-five minutes, every scene felt tight and necessary.”

Not everyone agreed the length was necessary, although Indie Wire said the film “isn’t all slow and dull”.

The US blog added: “It has occasional sparks, some tremendous actors doing estimable work… But it’s also, at least in this “unfinished” form, not especially remarkable, enjoyable or wholly compelling.”

Coming Soon’s Edward Douglas, however, called the film “real winner”, writing on Twitter: “Spielberg’s best movie in years… Should be good for 12 Oscar nominations and four easy wins.”

Steven SpielbergSpielberg told the audience the version they watched was “unfinished”

Day-Lewis’ performance garnered much praise, including from The Huffington Post, which called it a “towering achievement” and said he was “the stand-out”.

It revealed his Lincoln is “fierce but also kind-hearted” and that his higher-pitched voice was based on extensive research and historical accuracy.

The LA Times also singled out Day-Lewis, writing: “Judging by both the events on-screen and in the room, Day-Lewis, a long-time Oscar favourite, solidified his status as a lead actor contender.”

Many suggested the film’s supporting cast would also achieve multiple nominations.

Spielberg followed the screening with a Q and A session alongside screenwriter Tony Kushner.

People had waited up to an hour to get in, according to the New York Daily News, which called Lincoln “an often moving, sometimes teacherly thinking-man’s epic”.

However, while David Ehrlich of and Criterion Corner called Day-Lewis and Lee Jones “great” on Twitter, he gave the film a “C” overall, writing: “Spielberg restrained. Musty, redundant, bearded”.

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