Tag: Steven Spielberg

Image courtesy of Walt Disney Studios.

(NOTE: A version of this article was originally published here.)

** (out of 4)

When Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln was first released, many critics claimed that Spielberg had succeeded in portraying “Lincoln the man” instead of “Lincoln the legend.” In the San Francisco Chronicle, for instance, Mick LaSalle asserted that Spielberg “takes Lincoln down from his memorial and transforms him, from a timeless sage back into the product of…the American frontier.” Roger Ebert, moreover, noted that “I’ve rarely been more aware than during…‘Lincoln’ that Abraham Lincoln was a plain-spoken…man from…Kentucky.” And The New York Times’ A.O. Scott praised Lincoln for dismantling stereotypes, comparing it favorably to the many films that caricaturize presidents as “square-jawed action heroes, stoical Solons or ineffectual eggheads.”

In two respects, to be sure, Lincoln certainly does break through the “great man” mythology surrounding America’s 16th president.

Reviews - DVD/Streaming

Reviews - DVD/Streaming

Image courtesy of 20th Century Fox.

** ½ (out of 4)

Steven Spielberg’s The Post – a film about The Washington Post’s battle with the Nixon Administration over the publication of the Pentagon Papers – has two primary objectives. In the character of Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks), the assertive editor once interpreted by Jason Robards, Spielberg seeks to examine journalism’s role in modern society (à la Spotlight). And in the character of Kay Graham (Meryl Streep), the publisher who steered the Post through the 70s, Spielberg also wants to depict the difficulties women face in male-dominated workplaces.

To be sure, the film’s treatment of both of these themes begins quite promisingly.

Reviews - New Releases/Festivals