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Friday Release: Oscar favourite 'Lincoln'

Updated: February 7, 2013, 4:59 PM IST
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Friday Release: Oscar favourite 'Lincoln'
The film shows how Lincoln's push for the anti-slavery amendment could have jeopardized the end of the Civil War.

New Delhi: Director Ben Affleck and 'Argo' may have been the big winners at the Golden Globes, but many Americans think Steven Spielberg and 'Lincoln' should take home the top Oscars at next month's awards. The film opens in India this Friday.

Nearly a quarter of Americans questioned in an Ipsos poll thought the Civil War drama 'Lincoln' should win the Oscar for best picture at the 85th Academy Awards in Los Angeles on February 24. Spielberg was also their top choice for best director, with 36 percent choosing him.

Spielberg offered a cinematic vision of President Abraham Lincoln's battle to outlaw slavery in 'Lincoln,' which is already generating early buzz of awards for star Daniel Day-Lewis.

Spielberg acknowledged the pressure of bringing to the big screen one of America's most revered political figures. Two-time Oscar-winning actor Day-Lewis portrays Lincoln as a charismatic, gifted wordsmith and an often quietly determined, skilled politician who risked his popularity to gain enough votes to pass the 13th Amendment - which outlawed slavery - in the US House of Representatives during the final months of 1865.

Spielberg described Day-Lewis as "the consummate artist" and praised his understated take on "the stature and momentous kind of humanity of Lincoln" and ability to remain true to history's account of Lincoln with a high-pitched, quavering yet commanding vocal tone.

The dialogue-heavy film offers an inside look at the often dry legislative process, and how Lincoln's push for the anti-slavery amendment could have jeopardized the end of the Civil War.

Without re-enacting much of Lincoln's famed speeches, the film plays up the importance of Secretary of State William Seward (David Strathairn) and liberal congressman Thaddeus Stevens - in another performance, by Tommy Lee Jones, already tipped as an awards contender.

Spielberg, 66, said the film was not quite finished but called it a "a journey for me unlike any other" in his career.

In another departure from the history books, Field and screenplay writer Tony Kushner offer a sympathetic depiction of Lincoln's wife as a strong and supportive woman. In the past Todd has often been remembered as much for possible mental instability as being loyal to her husband's political policies.

Daniel Day-Lewis had little more than a statue and a few famous speeches to go on when he first agreed to play President Abraham Lincoln on screen.

First Published: February 7, 2013, 4:59 PM IST
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