“Lincoln” should make any cinephile tremor. Without seeing a sliver of footage, imaginations can’t help but gallop toward fiery sunsets of filmmaking immortality. with the promise of the true Master, Stephen Spielberg, combining with Daniel gets-so-lost-in-a-character-he-never-leaves-the-set Day-Lewis. This must be a movie-movie.

Lincoln

Touchstone


Sadly, the trailer doesn’t do the promise justice. Why though … why? Day-Lewis is picture and pitch-perfect as a haunted Lincoln. Spielberg rockets his already formidable composition toward genius heights (pause the trailer at any moment — that is aesthetics).

But something is off.

The trailer too easily brings to mind “Amistad” and “War Horse.” These are great movies, but Spielberg would do better to reference their visuals, not their content. And, it’s the content that perplexes: No lines of dialogue are particularly stirring, even if they are delivered by shaking characters. The conflict seems worn, predictable.

Thankfully, it’s just a preview. While things seem tired now, we should retain hope. This is Spielberg. This is Day-Lewis. This needs to be a good film; we won’t accept anything less.

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