After a questionable run of movies, including War Horse, The Adventures of TinTin and Indiana Jones, it's difficult to remember Steven Spielberg's last great movie. Certainly Munich was an excellent piece of filmmaking, though did it stand up to the Oscar winner's previous efforts? Perhaps not.
Anyway, it looks as though his latest movie, Lincoln, will be considered amongst Spielberg's finest. The drama focuses on the 16th President of the United States of America and his tumultuous final few months in office. The great Republican - played here by the superb Daniel Day Lewis - attempts to end the Civil War, unite the country and abolish slavery. Reaction has been almost unanimously positive, with even the most discerning of critics bowing before Spielberg for this one. Claudia Puig of USA Today wrote, "Its title notwithstanding, Lincoln is an absorbing, intellectual look at the political machinations involved in abolishing slavery, not an exhaustive biopic about Honest Abe." Peter Travers of Rolling Stone magazine heaped praise on the quality of the acting, "The phenomenal Daniel Day-Lewis plays Lincoln with immersive, indelible power in Spielberg's brilliant, brawling epic," he wrote. Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times argued that Spielberg had merely let the gripping story tell itself, "There is nothing bravura or overly emotional about Spielberg's direction here, but the impeccable filmmaking is no less impressive for being quiet and to the point," he wrote.
The movie clearly boasts the type of narrative that wins Oscars, lots of them. The Kings Speech, Schindler's List, Braveheart, Gladiator, all winners of Best Picture, all epic-style historical dramas. In any other year, Lincoln would probably win Best Picture, though Ben Affleck appears to have crashed the party somewhat. His drama Argo (another historical movie) is the bookies favorite at 2/1 for Best Picture, with Lincoln languishing behind at 3/1. Argo holds a 95 per cent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, Lincoln 93 per cent. On the other hand, Daniel Day Lewis is currently available at odds of 4/6 to win Best Actor, which he will win. So go and put your £6 on now, and you'll get £4 back, plus your stake, on February 24, 2013. Guaranteed.