Watch Tony Kushner and Harold Holzer discuss the screenplay for the movie Lincoln.
It seemed to me that the Oscars got the big things right when it came to this movie.
I love Kushner’s comment that “this is an accurate work of historical fiction.”
I don’t know, I think having 9 films nominated for best picture did to Lincoln the reverse of what the split in the democratic party did in 1860 for the real Lincoln. Should have been 5 films. Regardless, considering the competition in that category, not winning is not any kind of indictment against the Lincoln the film, or any of the others for that matter. Plenty of great films have been also-rans…On the Waterfront beat out The Caine Mutiny, Ben Hur beat out Anatomy of a Murder and The Diary of Anne Frank, Lawrence of Arabia beat out Mutiny on the Bounty and To Kill a Mockingbird, and The Hurt Locker beat out Avatar [though I will never forgive the Academy for nominating that piece of trash Inglorious Basterds for best picture!]
As for Kushner and Holzer, well…no surprises there.I don’t think the video added or detracted from the previous discussions.
I don’t know what “got the big things right” is supposed to mean. If you’re alluding to historical accuracy, the escape scene in Argo was made up. It was a movie — not a documentary — for crying out loud. We know they made mistakes, some on purpose and some just wrong. So, please give it a break. From the get go, you’ve had a thing for the movie. Even if it got some things wrong, most of it they got right and more people learned about the Civil War than they otherwise would have. A friend in Australia who has no interest whatsoever saw the movie, liked it, and did some research.
This braying by academics really gets tiresome. I respect you guys for what you do and pay attention when you discuss the Civil War but as movie critics you know about as much as I do and that ain’t saying much.
Not quite. From the beginning I knew where the discussion about the movie was going to go. I predicted it, and I was bored by it. I thought that there was some use in reminding people that the Hampton Roads Conference narrative was far different than what was offered in the movie, and I don’t see any disagreement there.
My quarrel for some time was not with the movie (which, again, I haven’t discussed) but with what surrounded it, from Kushner’s stumbles to a criticism of criticism. I think you miss that. Show me where I’ve criticized the actual movie. My observations in that regard have to do with a contrived beginning and a tendency to go beyond the high point of the story for too long.
Of course, if I were writing about Gods and Generals, I’d have a lot more people cheering me on. I ask, why is that?
As for people learning more about the Civil War, how can you say that if at the same time you admit that at least some of what they learned had to be wrong?
Finally, if every man’s his own historian, every man can be his own film critic. And when Kushner says the movie’s historically accurate, well, we all know better. Our expectations differ, that’s all.
Add to the Oscar injustices: Shakespeare in Love beating Saving Private Ryan. As for the Oscars I considering them to be a four hour bore (about seven hours including the pre-post award activities). I don’t watch.
I definitely don’t think the Oscars are the be all deciders of true greatness. In addition to the films you mentioned: ‘Shakespeare in Love’ (!) beat ‘Saving Private Ryan’, ‘Dances with Wolves’ (which I like) beat ‘Goodfellas’, ‘Rocky’ beat ‘Taxi Driver’ for heavens sake!.
At least ‘Patton’ was recognized for greatness by them.
And for example, three of my favorite directors Peckinpah, Kubrick, and Leone had a whopping one Oscar between them (Kubrick for visual effects in ’2001′).
Note: where have I mentioned Argo? Just sayin’.
If the voters had been only half as impressed with Lincoln as the movie was with itself, the other films wouldn’t have had a chance.
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