Audiences dazzled by New York Film Festival unveiling of ‘Lincoln’

Steven Spielberg‘s “Lincoln” was unveiled at the New York Film Festival on Monday night, and early reactions have been mostly glowing.

Clayton Davis at Awards Circuit tweeted that the film “soars” and is the director’s “best in years.”

ComingSoon’s Edward Douglas says the film is “a real winner” and “should be good for 12 Oscar nominations and 4 easy wins.”

Matt Patches of Hollywood.com said “Lincoln” “turns a defining moment in history into a human story.”

But David Ehrlich of Movies.com voiced his dissent, arguing, “Abraham Lincoln: Vote Hunter. Best movie ever made for A&E?”

Awards Daily Oscarologist Sasha Stone sizes up the various immediate reactions to the film on social networks: “My stream on Twitter, for instance, was full of really great reactions. But others have informed me that it could be described as a mixed reaction.”

Rodrigo Perez of IndieWire also expressed mixed feelings about the film: “… as a two hour procedural about the ratification of an amendment in the House Of Representatives (does anything sound more appealing as a premise to you?), ‘Lincoln’ is also not exactly the most engaging nor well-paced picture either … to the untrained eye, it would be difficult to discern what exactly was incomplete other than a minutely-detailed framework that could use a much tighter pace and rhythm.”

Perez, however, praises the performances: “Marked by a forceful, but nicely muted performance by Daniel Day-Lewis as the 16th President of the United States, perhaps the film’s greatest asset is the consummate scene stealer Tommy Lee Jones as Radical Republican Congressional leader Thaddeus Stevens.”

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The Hollywood Reporter’s Scott Feinberg thinks the film is a likely nominee in top Oscar categories: “Steven Spielberg’s ‘Lincoln,’ which had a high-profile sneak screening Monday evening at the 50th New York Film Festival, was greeted by sustained applaluse and an immediate burst of enthusiastic tweets. Based on my own evaluation of the film and its prospects, I expect it wil be a sure shot for Academy Award nominations for best picture, best director, and best actor for two-time Oscar winner winner Daniel Day-Lewis, playing America’s 16th president during the final months of his presidency … In short, ‘Lincoln’ appears to be Oscar-bait incarnate.”

Roger Friedman at Showbiz 411 is similarly bullish about the film’s chances: “It’s an ambitious film that starts slowly but builds furiously to an epic grandeur. Yes of course it’s a definite Best Picture nominee with wonderful, memorable performances and a top notch script that is sometimes too talky but great to listen to.”

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