'60 Minutes' Profiles Spielberg & 'Lincoln' Tonight: Will It Help Their Oscar Push?

Spielberg & ‘Lincoln’ On ’60 Minutes’: Video

LincolnThe grey-haired audience for 60 Minutes is the right venue for Lincoln‘s adult moviegoers when the film hits theaters on November 9th. But the real question is whether the CBS show can deliver Oscar voters? It used to be for Hollywood that having 60 Minutes profile both Steven Spielberg and his Lincoln (at 7:30pm EST tonight) was a big get. And certainly Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences members skew older. But I’m not sure Spielberg giving what’s billed as his first media interview and first clips for the film to Lesley Stahl is awards strategic nowadays. Seems archaic. “I’ve always wanted to tell a story about Lincoln. I saw a paternal father figure, someone who was completely, stubbornly committed to his ideals, his vision,” he tells Stahl. “I think the film is very relevant for today. It’s about leadership… He was living with two agendas, both of which had to do with healing… First, to abolish slavery, end the war. But he also had his personal life and I think there’s darkness in there.” Spielberg also speaks at length to Stahl about his childhood and lets her sit down with his parents. Which just goes to show yet again that even Hollywood’s biggest names will do anything for gold.

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  1. The truth is Spielberg hasn’t been the center of the universe in Hollywood for some time now and once you’ve had that heat you must always still crave it. Hopefully, the movie is really good. Certainly a worthy subject.

    1. Who on here that is commenting on Spielberg has directed even one film? Even a short?

      What are your credits? What have you produced? Written? Shot?

      So this particular film doesn’t appeal to your interest. So What?

      Don’t go see it.

      But when you look at Spielberg’s body of work…..tell us who compares to the box office and critical success that he has achieved over his 27 films he directed and the countless he has produced or executive produced.

      Go and scan that list of films and look at the sheer diversity and quality let alone box office success.

  2. The big question is just how many people will line up to see this film ? History buffs,history teachers and just about no one else.
    Speilberg is long off the map of Filmdoms best and brightest directors. This won’t help him regain what he had. Most people I ask have no desire to see this-even when it is released on DVD.

    1. Whether you like it or not, what happened in the past affects your life. Spielberg didn’t make this film to appeal to the masses, but for those who believe in the power of Lincoln in the shaping of our country.
      Not every movie aspires to be a meaningless blockbuster like “The Avengers.”

    2. I have to agree. Spielberg has been flogging this very hard with the screenings and discussions in NYC and now the 60 Min profile. But the bottom line is that this is another “Amistad” – an earnest, well done and completely “bloodless” (no pun on the vampire hunter one) bio that audience will feel like they ought to see, but will wait for on DVD. It will have a very hard time earning out. It looks like the movie your school took you to see for the History Club’s class trip, not the one you hire a babysitter so you can make a Saturday night of it.

    3. I believe this film is more an attempt for personal closure for the aging Steven & his parents than for the public. Will people flock to see it in theatres? think not. TV view? Hmmm.

  3. Regardless of what we think of Spielberg’s recent output as Director, he really needs to think of his legacy as he approaches 70.

    It’s a crime that he has not done a single “Director’s commentary” on any of his classic films. He needs to come to terms with his mortality.

  4. I agree with Blue Desert. I saw the trailer and it didn’t interest me. It looks like a set decoration piece and acting showcase for Day-Lewis. The storyline is something I grew up knowing, so what can he bring that’s new?

    1. ..at least it won’t be Lincoln Vampire Hunter!…The suit who okayed this movie was probably canned for this…and if not…deserved to be…and Spielberg is one of the greatest directors of all time and most commercially successful. Every at bat isn’t a home run…and every one is entitled to a vanity project. . . probably the most recognized at greatest director is John Ford.

    2. Same as Blue Desert. Sally has spoken. No need to see the movie because she didn’t like the trailer. Sally says case closed.

  5. talk about sour grapes. the film is written by one of our most brilliant playwrights. it stars one of the most brilliant actors of all time. its subject is a brilliant American people still revere and are inspired by. as for steven spielberg; who else in contemporary cinema has directed and or produced as many classic, timeless movies in so many different genres? i personally can’t wait to see it.

  6. It’s very hard to keep an open mind going in to “Lincoln” given the schmaltzy treatment he’s given his past historical epics.

    1. People just love to use Spielberg’s sentimentality as a cudgel against him. Granted, the man can be schmaltzy. But that’s hardly the sum total of his work, and it’s not like every moment of his historical films is dominated this.

  7. As a brown haired 27 year old I watch 60 Minutes and am VERY excited for Lincoln. I come to this site sometimes and really don’t understand why people who seem to hate film and art write for this site, visit, and comment. It seems like everyone who comes here revels or hopes for failure for those who try. Sad really.

    1. I agree with you. I’m just a movie fan , have been since I was a kid.
      But most of these people seem to be jealous & bitter of anyone having success but themselves.They are probably part of the problem why There is nothing good coming out of Hollywood anymore

  8. A non-snarky comment posting:
    I saw it last week, and it’s really quite good. Daniel Day Lewis gives another truly brilliant and stunning performance (does anyone doubt he’s the greatest living actor?). Strong work from Sally Field, Tommy Lee Jones, and James Spader is a real surprise! Strong acting all around, and wonderful period details. Spielberg shows some real restraint here, letting the story unfold naturally. There is an epic 8 minute scene of dialogue that very few could pull off, and they did. The language does take some getting used to, and much of it is cribbed from real life.
    Tony Kushner worked on this for years, and his first draft was 500 pages, spanning Lincoln’s life (there’s almost 3,000 books written about him, I believe.) They chose to focus on the section they found the most dramatic — his final months, and on the passing of the 13th amendment, basing much of it on the book “Team of Rivals” by Doris Kearns Goodwin — which gives the film a dramatic tension that carries throughout, sort of a “West Wing 1865”. The parallels between then and today are striking. While much has changed in this country, the nature of politics seems the same.
    I think this film will connect with audiences, but who knows? I hope it does.
    I think the people involved are immensely proud of this film.

    1. “They chose to focus on the section they found the most dramatic — his final months, and on the passing of the 13th amendment”

      One’s been done to death (no pun intended), while the other carries all the dramatic fire of a C-Span hearing.

      Not sure how the general public will react to a picture built entirely out of elongated speeches and “Amistad”-style ponderousness. Spielberg plays it too safe with this one.

  9. For some project I’d like to see him tear it up and start from scratch. To be “Spielberg” at the box office must be quite the burden. Everything’s supposed to be a home run or you’re losin’ it. That doesn’t seem fair or accurate to me. (“Empire of the Sun” is a personal favorite.) In terms of people working for him (Amblin; Dreamworks) the guy is probably subject to too much “palace politics” and ass kissing. People afraid of telling him what they’re really thinking which of course doesn’t help him in the long run. Haven’t seen “Lincoln” and I of course am looking forward to it. Could be a much-needed postmodern sequel to John Ford’s “Young Mr. Lincoln.” Loved “War Horse” – reminded me of old studio hands like Victor Fleming, Sam Wood – also Clarence Brown – and not just because of “National Velvet” – but singular, its own picture, self-possessed. Terrific old-fashioned family film. For me it was his best since “Catch Me If You Can.” When I saw it I thought -I’ll bet this would have been really great in something like Cinerama or CinemaScope – all the landscapes, etc. – but alas movie theatres today are like a sheet on the wall in the basement – however with stadium seating and cup holders! Completely prefabricated as disposable experience like moving a tract house with a forklift. Now that that’s gone – just make sure you put something else there in its place. Which of course is what you do when you’re sitting at your computer.

    1. Unfair. “Schindler’s LIst” was certainly sanitized by Spielberg, i.e. the shower scene with the women in the gas chamber where they LIVED? Seriously? And Saving Private Ryan was way over the top other than the brilliant opening sequence. Billy Wilder wanted to direct Schindler’s LIst, but Spielberg wouldn’t give up the project. I submit Wilder would have served up a more sobering account. Spielberg has made some of the greatest movies of all times, but he just seems lost, like Springsteen who is so wealthy that he has lost his common touch. Everything with Spielberg must be spectacle and always orchestrated by John Williams who, like Spinal Tap, has to play everything at “11.”

      I doubt I’ll go see “Lincoln” simply because it sounds like a play, not a movie. It will be interesting to see what kind of response it gets. Hopefully it will be more interesting than tonight’s 60 Minutes interview. Snoozetime.

    2. Actually, they kind of were.
      Doesn’t change the fact they were great films and essential viewing, though.

  10. Lincoln was screened early at my school and honestly a bunch of college students (including myself) loved it! The story focuses on aspects about the Civil War and Lincoln that many people may not know. It comes alive with the performances (they are for sure going to get several oscar nods) and cinematography which in my opinion “painted with light.”
    Go see it before you judge it. Spielberg’s best since Saving Private Ryan.

  11. I liked this movie better the first time I saw it, when it was called AMISTAD. Two hours of flowery speeches about slavery.

  12. I’m not sure if its sad or funny to watch everybody here who helped make Spielberg (and other people covered by this site) a financial and critical success line up to play a round of “destroy our heroes.” Don’t worry, its almost awards season. I’m sure there will be a cynical heap of self-loathing for you to praise released soon enough.

    I like to call this the post-9/11 effect. Quite similar to the Vietnam / post- Vietnam funk that guys like Spielberg and Lucas helped to break us out of at the cinema in the mid/late 70’s.

    Call me when you’re ready to enjoy life and the movies again.

  13. Will it help their Oscar push? I doubt it. I was planning on seeing Lincoln but 60 Minutes made it sound like it’s a terribly boring movie: no action, no excitement, just scene after scene of people talking.

  14. People never cease to amaze me at their ability to view their own little world and circle of friends as representative of culture at large.

    “Well, I spoke (in passing) to 10 of my closest acquaintances and like me, they are also not excited to see this film.”


    “My 5th grade history teacher and my high school history teacher touched on this story one day in class, so I pretty much know this story already.”

    Why do you think there are a couple thousand books written about Lincoln? Is it because his story is pretty basic and lacking in nuance and complexity? The period of time this movie covers is one of the most important seasons in our nation’s young history! If you’re uninterested in this, then it’s not our fault that you’re a mile wide and an inch deep. I’m 30 and know about 10-15 people in my age group who are stoked to see this movie, so who is right? It’s subjective, you loon. There are just as many stoked about this as their are who couldn’t care less, so let’s cut with this crap about you and your friends not being excited as though it meant that everyone else is also not excited about it.

    And, I’ll have to agree with Cassandra regarding the “schmaltzy” comment above. Several members of my mother’s family served in WWII and those who did see the movie were all deeply moved by it. Get over yourself you pretentious idiot.

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