Sunday, 13 January 2013

Going to great lengths

I was on my way from a BIFHSGO meeting (that's my family history society, for those who don't know I'm a family history nut) which had gone overtime, to drop off a DVD at the library, then high-tail it around the corner to the Empire 7 to meet the Resident Fan Boy and younger daughter at Lincoln.

This is the first family rendezvous we've done with a cell phone. As I hurried along, I already knew that the RFB would be getting the popcorn because he had texted me before leaving the house. However, the RFB is flatly refusing to get a mobile device, so when I didn't show up at the appointed time, he panicked, found a pay phone between the coming attractions, and left a message along the lines of if-you-don't-answer-your-cell-phone-what's-the-point. I hadn't answered because by the time I realized the thing was vibrating in my parka pocket, his call had gone to voice mail, and I hadn't figured out how to retrieve my voice mail. (I have now.)

So I arrived five minutes into the film and, having no night vision to speak of, had to stand at the back of the cinema until the RFB came to help me feel my way to my seat, to the dismay of the lady on the aisle.

Anyway, Lincoln:
I've only seen two of the Academy Award nominated films. Les Miserables was two and a half hours I'll never get back and of course, as I'm typing this, has just won the Golden Globe. (Fine performances, lovingly filmed, but gosh darn it, it's a musical based on variations of the same song.)

Lincoln is also epic and about half an hour too long, but it's gripping, even though we know how it panned out. Everything appears to have been filmed through a blue filter, taking us back to a cold, bleak, nearly colourless Washington DC of January 1865. Top-notch performances from many of the finest character actors in the States, including a rather wonderful turn by James Spader as one of a trio of lobbyists selling off appointments to reluctant Democrats in order to secure their vote for the Thirteenth Amendment. About four speaking roles for women, even in this large cast, but it was, after all, a man's world -- and a white man at that.

I've read complaints about the film not including the assassination, although it does show Lincoln's death a few hours later. Frankly, I thought the film should have ended at the point when the President sets off down the halls of the White House, on his way to Ford's Theater. It was a beautifully shot and poignant moment; everything beyond was superfluous.

A good film, all the same. Of the other nominations, I only really want to see Beasts of the Southern Wild and Amour. That should be enough to choose something to champion come awards night. (If Les Miz wins, I'll throw snack food, I swear!)


Rob said...

I saw Argo, which won the Golden Globe. If that's up for the Oscar don't bet against it: very good indeed.

Persephone said...

As a Canadian, I haven't been anxious to go see it.