Countdown to the Oscars: Most Nominated Film Goes to Lincoln

Some movies are fortunate enough to have their whole ensemble be absolutely stellar.  And that is why Lincoln wins with the most Oscar nominations this year.

Check out the full nomination list from IMDB:

Academy Awards, USA
Year Result Award Category/Recipient(s)
2013 Nominated Oscar Best Achievement in Cinematography
Janusz Kaminski
Best Achievement in Costume Design
Joanna Johnston
Best Achievement in Directing
Steven Spielberg
Best Achievement in Editing
Michael Kahn
Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score
John Williams
Best Achievement in Production Design
Rick Carter
Jim Erickson
Best Achievement in Sound Mixing
Andy Nelson
Gary Rydstrom
Ron Judkins
Best Motion Picture of the Year
Steven Spielberg
Kathleen Kennedy
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Daniel Day-Lewis
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Tommy Lee Jones
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Sally Field
Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published
Tony Kushner

I mean, look at it!  It’s nominated for all aspects of film-making!  It’s no secret that Lincoln is going to be a tough contender to beat at the Academy Awards.  Daniel Day-Lewis has already won the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Drama and the film won Movie of the Year at the AFI (American Film Institute) Awards.  And let’s face it, Day-Lewis has won half the times he’s been nominated!  If this were the Kentucky Derby, I’d put my money on the horse named Lincoln!

The prize players are of course, Daniel Day-Lewis in the lead role, Sally Field, playing his wife Mary Todd Lincoln, nominated for Best Supporting Actress, and Tommy Lee Jones as Thaddeus Stevens, up for Best Supporting Actor!

But there are quite a few in this cast I would call out!  For starters, who would have ever thought James Spader had it in him?!  Spader plays W.N. Bilbo, a lawyer and lobbyist who fought for the 13th amendment.  The last time I saw a movie and was like, “Yah, James Spader!” was Stargate!  Kudos to him on his acting in this film!

John Hawkes – CC Wikipedia Commons

Standing beside him is John Hawkes, a particular favorite of my boyfriend and I, who some of you may recognize from the indie flick Me and You and Everyone We Know.  Not to mention his performance as Sol Star on HBO’s Deadwood series, and then as Teardrop in the 2011 Oscar nominated Winter’s Bone.  If you ask me, he’s one to watch!  A second film Hawkes played the lead in is up for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for costar Helen Hunt, called The Sessions.  But in Lincoln, Hawkes plays Robert Latham, quite the dignified historical figure.  Latham was a lawyer who became well known for winning a land case for the Eastern Cherokee Nation, and then became a U.S. Senator who fought against child labor and also gave us the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 which amounted to our current banking system and tender, the U.S. dollar.

Rounding out the trio of behind-the-scenes vote capturers, was Tim Blake Nelson as Richard Schell.  Schell was another Senator, and later served in the House of Representatives.  I’ve been a fan of Tim Blake Nelson since he did his own singing in O Brother, Where Art Thou.

And lastly, I had to smile when I saw Hal Holbrook on the screen portraying Preston Blair.  He’s an Emmy and Tony Award winning actor, but he captured my heart portraying the older Jacob in 2011’s film version of Water for Elephants, a movie and book I enjoyed so much I smashed my face into a circus wagon to prove it!

The film Lincoln, I’ve heard, does shed the famous president in a very sunny light.  I still think it’s incredibly well done and will always be prevalent to us as a society.  It depicts the time right before Lincoln passed the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery.  147 years ago, the country was torn with the civil war.  Death counts rose everyday.  A possible peace treaty was in the works, and yet the amendment may not have passed had that treaty come to be first.  Everything was about to change.

Interestingly enough, you can get a different perspective about the president with the release of Jennifer Chiaverini’s historical fiction, Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker.  It just published January 15th, and it’s on my To Read Shelf.

I caught the title in the newest issue of BookPage.  Chiaverini used the memoir written by Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley, Behind the Scenes:  Thirty Years a Slave and Four Years in the White House, to write her new work.  Keckley was a former slave turned dressmaker for society’s elite, eventually becoming the First Lady’s seamstress.  While employed by the Lincolns, she witnessed her share of private moments between the tumultuous couple, and apparently the release of her memoir caused quite the scandal resulting in Mrs. Lincoln severing all ties with her after its publication!

I’m intrigued, are you?!!

Your take!  Have you seen Lincoln?  What did you think?  Do you think a film about this period in history is still relevant?  

What about Chiaverini’s new book?  Don’t you want to know what Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley really thought about the Lincolns? 

11 responses

  1. Ooohh, thanks for the info on “Mrs. Lincolns Dressmaker”. Sounds like a book I’ll have to read!

    1. Let me know what you think of it! I’ve heard mixed reviews, but the history sounds fascinating.

  2. Hmmm…over the years it sounds as if you have missed some really good Spader performances. Especially if you missed him in Secretary or on TV in The Practice or Boston Legal.

    1. I haven’t seen Secretary yet! It is on my list. And I haven’t seen his TV shows so I am judging him harshly I’ll admit. But this performance in Lincoln was awesome. Way more than his role in…shall we say Pretty in Pink?

  3. James Spader plays Bilbo?! I could have sworn it was Martin Freeman…

    1. Awe Mark made a funny! LOL

      I know. Unfortunate name but the guy was real!

  4. Oh how I wanted to see Lincoln and just never made it to the theater! It looks fabulous! I love historical movies and Lincoln, in particular. I read his biography when I was 9 and was fascinated with him. I reread it 3 more times! I guess I’ll have to wait for it to come out on Netflix or video.
    The book does sound intriguing. I’ll bet it’s a great story but I’d really like to read the original memoir!

    1. Maybe that’s why we get along so well. You read about Lincoln at 9 years old and my favorite series was the Dear America books – fictitious diaries based on periods/events in history.

      For that reason I know you are going to LOVE Lincoln.

      Let me know if you read Ms. Keckley’s book or this new one. I’m sure both shed an incredible new light on the Lincoln’s. Say – did you read Killing Lincoln? Members of my book club were talking about that one.

      1. No, I haven’t heard of Killing Lincoln. I’ll check it out! Thanks, Jess.

  5. I’m probably in the minority here, but I didn’t much enjoy Lincoln. I appreciate it for its historical value and the phenomenal acting and overall production, but felt that the emotional connectedness could have (should have) been deeper. I felt too much was rather “crammed in” occurrence-wise. I wanted to know more about the people and the relationships…even Lincoln. Since abolition was the center point, I also wanted more–much more–regarding the slaves. (The few scenes that featured slaves and Sally Fields were my favorite parts. :))

    Yep, totally asking for too much. LOL Just my two cents. I’m glad the film has done so well, though, in a time when overblown effects and such make more money than significant stories, IMO.

    1. I can see that. Diane Capri made a great point on FB the other day, that the film would have been better named The 13th Amendment. That’s what it focuses on; we only glimpses into Lincoln’s life, and the dynamic relationships he had with his wife and sons. That’s why I’m curious to read the book about Elizabeth Keckley and hear more of her perspectives.

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