He can certainly default to automatic pilot every now and then, but when Steven Spielberg is at the top of his game, there are few filmmakers capable of conjuring such strong movie magic. "Lincoln," his cinematic portrait of the 16th President of the United States, looks to have his full heart and soul.
Thankfully (and not surprisingly), Spielberg doesn't seem interested in simply giving a (potentially very dry) history lesson. As he did with "War Horse," the veteran filmmaker seems to be approaching "Lincoln" as more of a whimsical fable than a "period drama" — an appropriate choice, as there are few American historical figures more iconic and, indeed, more mythic than Honest Abe.
And speaking of iconic and mythic, we might as well just hand Daniel Day-Lewis a Best Actor Oscar nomination right now. The notoriously immersive and ultra-dedicated actor looks to have once again completely disappeared into his role — it's like the production team pulled a "Bill and Ted" and got their hands on a time machine, went back to the 1860s, snatched the real Abraham Lincoln and plopped him down in front of the camera.
(Hey, if anyone could pull such a scenario off, it's Steven Spielberg.)
Check out the trailer below, fellow Americans, courtesy of Google Plus. "Lincoln" opens Nov. 9 in limited release before expanding wider on Nov. 16.