It may still be gloriously summery — where I am, at least — but I’m feeling an intangible autumnal chill this week, as the upcoming prestige-movie season, and all the awards talk that comes with it, looms ever larger. Venice kicks off the fall festival circuit in exactly one week’s time, I’m attending screenings with embargoes signed in blood, and every day seems to bring another new poster, trailer, clip or press release for a film with the O-word on its mind. (Yesterday’s announcement of the Golden Globes voting schedule just about had me burying my head under the couch cushions, begging for another few months of sun.)
Today, then, marks the first move in the marketing campaign for “Lincoln” — a sober monochrome one-sheet that quite clearly establishes, in case you thought otherwise, that Steven Spielberg’s presidential biopic (and sight-unseen Oscar threat) won’t be reframing Honest Abe’s life story as a romantic comedy. It’s not a terribly inspired poster, though I suppose it carries the requisite gravitas — between the shot of Daniel Day-Lewis’s artfully made-up profile and the grainily etched black and white of the imagery, it recalls nothing so much as a weathered penny coin in its iconography. That’s surely no accident.
What the poster really announces, however, is that a trailer can’t be far off. “Lincoln” will be, by my count, the last of the presumed year-end heavyweights to reveal so much as a shred of footage, even though it’ll beat many of them into theaters with its early November release date. Whether Spielberg has a “Schindler’s List” or an “Amistad” on his hands here is, at this stage, anyone’s guess, but in this age of chronic overmarketing, there’s a lot to be said for keeping things under your hat.
What do you make of the poster? Where does “Lincoln” rank on your most-anticipated list? Share your thoughts in the comments.