I rarely see enough Oscar-nominated films prior to the Acadamy Awards to have a decent opinion regarding who ought to win. Strangely enough, many of the movies that are nominated are also popular this year, so I actually have now seen 3 of the Best Actor Nominated performances.
I'm sure that Daniel Day Lewis will win - as he has won everything else. I ended up being pretty bored by the end of the movie, but perhaps it is because everyone around me said, "Oh, My Gosh, you have to see Lincoln!" and "Lincoln is Amazing!" and I unintentionally I got my expectations up. The travesty is that Sally Field wasn't nominated, because she actually turns in a more accurate and nuanced portrayal of Mary Todd Lincoln. (updated to say - she is nominated for supporting actress....and should win it.)
Unfortunately, Adam and I left the theater saying, "That was a 3 hour version of an non-witty episode of "The West Wing." What would have been Fantastic is to have bombastic Toby Ziegler stomp his way into Lincoln's office and tell him what for. Why can't I find a mash-up of That?
Les Mis has some fantastic turns at acting. The singing was about how bad I thought it would be (Thank the Lord Almighty for Hugh Jackman's training on Broadway prior to this movie). Anne Hathaway was great, made me cry, all the same as everyone else. Marius and Cosette,who cares about? As usual, I love Helena Bonhome Carter will all her Real-Life Wierdness coming out on screen. That woman can act! And not a bad voice, either!
The thing I will say that I loved was the change at the end. How fitting to have the Bishop and Fantine guide Valjean at the end? So fitting.
Otherwise, Les Mis was more entertaining than Lincoln, but the acting was far more spotty overall.
The movie I will recommend with a huge caveat - is Flight. What a dark and depressing movie! What a wonderful morality play about alcoholism, the utter inability for people around an alcoholic to save him, and the need for something - or someone, hint hint - more than human to save a man so determined to be an arrogant, self-righteous, narcissistic ass.
Denzel should win the Oscar, but he won't. But he should. His performance is nigh unto perfect for the character.
Here's the huge caveat, that you must know (Hi Mom!) : There is full frontal - and somewhat unnecessary - female nudity for about 3 minutes at the beginning of the movie. It sets up the question "Do I even like this guy?" but yeah. I hate nudity in movies, so there you go.
This is not a movie to watch with the eyes of entertainment. It's a movie that you have to slog through, watching for God to pluck a man out of his own filth - and not all of the Christians in the movie are portrayed in a "normal" way - the wife of the co-pilot says "PRAISE JESUS" in a way that turns me off to Christianity. But I guess that's how an Alcoholic Narcissist would see her.
The end of the movie is moving and appropriate for a man saved from his own lying, sinful, arrogant ways.