Saturday, 16 February 2013

Best Leading Actor 2012: Daniel Day-Lewis - Lincoln

As I wrote in my review of Tommy Lee Jones's performance, Lincoln is technically a great film, but I didn't enjoy it very much. It was made just to win as many awards, as possible. It's very emotionless, except from some scenes. The music rarely plays throughout the film, the editing is not very slippy and the screenplay (and the directing) never goes into the depth, so we don't actually care about the characters very much, nor do we care about how will it all with the commandment end.
I wrote we don't care about the characters. And it is also valid for Lincoln. The film is very stony and so is the leading character. Lewis never goes deeply into the character, so that we would care about him. There are only few remarkable scenes (because they're emotional), but most of them are remarkable because of Sally Field and one because of Joseph Gordon-Levitt. I would say that every scene that is emotional has something to do with Levitt's character. It's not because Levitt would play somehow excellently, he is just normally good. It's because these scenes show the tragedy of some characters, they show their emotions. And that's what the film should more focus on.
But Lewis is known as a magnificent character actor, therefore I would expect he would help this non-emotionality, but he doesn't do that. His building of the character is very minimalistic and subtle, which would not be bad. But Lewis let himself to be undistinguished by the coldness of the film. I would expect him to handle the character the way of making the film pleasure to watch, just because of him. But he showed nothing special here. He wasn't bad, though sometimes overacting, but we are used from Lewis that he usually gives us much better and more remarkable performances.
His best scene is the scene when Sally Field is crying on the floor. That one of the most emotional scenes in the film and it's just because of him. He handled some moments really greatly and the rest of his scenes were just very good. He never gave anything to his character that would make us like, or dislike, or at least care about Lincoln. On the other hand, we can say this stony way portraying is positive, because it fits the tone of the film, but I don't get satisfied with this. Especially not from Lewis...
The chances of winning an Oscar: This is the strongest lock in any category this year (along with Amour for the best foreign language film). He will undoubtably win. If he didn't, it would be a huge surprise...


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  2. Well I disagree completely. This is a very subtle performance and he really does get right down to showing the truth of Lincoln as a man as well as a leader. I also thought the screenplay was very good and detailed even if there were weak scenes like the opening scene and Tommy Lee Jones's last scene. I thought the film was quite interesting but I love history. He will be a great winner, and he is my winner although not easily as I am tempted to give the win to Phoenix.