Lincoln (2012) - Shaker Square Cinema / Grotto Wine Bar

Lincoln (2012)

Shaker Square Cinema
Saturday, November 24, 2012 @ 7 p.m.
Genre: Drama, Musical, 120 minutes
Director – Steven Spielberg
USA – English
Rated: PG-13 for an intense scene of war violence, some images of carnage and brief strong language

As the Civil War continues to rage, America's president struggles with continuing carnage on the battlefield and as he fights with many inside his own cabinet on the decision to emancipate the slaves.

Lincoln – Steven Spielberg directs two-time Academy Award® winner Daniel Day-Lewis in “Lincoln,” a revealing drama that focuses on the 16th President’s tumultuous final months in office. In a nation divided by war and the strong winds of change, Lincoln pursues a course of action designed to end the war, unite the country and abolish slavery. With the moral courage and fierce determination to succeed, his choices during this critical moment will change the fate of generations to come.

During President Lincoln's tumultuous final months in office, he pursues a course of action to end the Civil War, unite the country and abolish slavery.

Lincoln Trailer (click here)

7 p.m. – Lincoln (2012)Shaker Square Cinemas, on the Southwest Quadrant at 13116 Shaker Square, Cleveland 44120. There is a large free public parking lot in the rear of the theater.

Meet at the auditorium entrance door 15 minutes ahead of time or look for the group inside the theater. DO NOT ARRIVE LATE! This will be well attended so it is advisable to arrive early or purchase tickets on-line to avoid missing the start. We will sit in the upper level, center. This film will be the HOT TICKET this weekend, so a large attendance is expected. The flick is 120 minutes, so expect to be out around 9 p.m. You may also meet us afterward outside the entrance door. If you RSVP, we will wait for you. If you do not have a photo posted, you will have to find us.

We have multiple meeting places: 1. Entrance door to the auditorium in the hallway 10 minutes before the movie starts, 2. By the Marquee (or auditorium entrance) after the movie, or 3. Reserved table at a restaurant under the name "Movie Group".

9:15 p.m. – Dinner at Grotto Wine Bar, on the Northwest Quadrant, 13101 Shaker Square, Cleveland 44120, 216.751.WINE (9463).

The After Party @ Grotto Wine Bar - Considering the starting time of 7:05 p.m., we will have plenty of time for a leisurely meal, wine and discussion nearby at Grotto. Its ideal, a short 1-minute walk from the theater.

Grotto Wine Bar has offered a generous 10-percent across-the-board discount to Music Cleveland! - this is Members Only (and guests of course)!

Please let us know your dinner plans on your RSVP so that we can either save you a seat at the "Movie Group" table or plan to meet you at the movie. We have asked for separate checks but please bring cash to pay for your meal.

Our new group will be successful partly because members have a genuine interest in meeting fellow cinema lovers for a discussion before or after the film. We don't always know where to look for you, especially those without a profile picture and first timers.

It’s very important to RSVP early and cancel your dinner reservations if you can’t attend. Please be respectful of the Organizers and the Restaurants we patronize.

Since this is a brand new group, a word from your Organizers:

“We have costs associated with being on that we ask you to assist with. Our nominal $5 annual membership fee goes toward the charges and other related administrative expenses. You may pay by credit card by using the PayPal link in the left margin of our home page.  Or you may pay the event host in cash at the event.  Organizers are not compensated and contribute their time simply for the love of the art of film. Please be current on those fees.”

Note: Those members with paid memberships at Music Cleveland! will have fees waived for the Movie Group - A Twofer!

Lincoln is a 2012 biographical war drama film directed by Steven Spielberg, starring Daniel Day-Lewis as United States President Abraham Lincoln and Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln. The film is based on Doris Kearns Goodwin’s biography of Lincoln, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, and covers the final four months of Lincoln's life. Filming began Monday, October 17, 2011, and ended on December 19, 2011. The film had a limited release on November 9, and wide release on November 16. We will screen it one day later, exactly one year after the filming began.

A detailed plot and cast description is posted on Wikipedia (click here)

Plot summary

DreamWorks has announced that the film "will focus on the political collision of Lincoln and the powerful men of his cabinet on the road to abolition and the end of the Civil War." According to Spielberg, Doris Kearns Goodwin's entire book about Lincoln's presidency is "much too big" for a film, and said that the film will focus on the last few months of Lincoln's life, the ending of slavery and the Union victory in the Civil War. Spielberg said that "what permanently ended slavery was the very close vote in the House of Representatives over the Thirteenth Amendment – that story I'm excited to tell." Spielberg plans to show "Lincoln at work, not just Lincoln standing around posing for the history books...arguably the greatest working President in American history doing some of the greatest work for the world."

Screenwriter Tony Kushner has said that he worked on the script for six years and that he was very interested in "the relationship of Lincoln to the abolitionist GOP" and that Lincoln's "incredible ability to finesse very, very treacherous political circumstances and continue to move the country forward, I mean, to lead the country forward in the midst of the most horrendously difficult period in its history, I think, is breathtaking and awe-inspiring."


While consulting on a Steven Spielberg project in 1999, Goodwin told Spielberg she was planning to write Team of Rivals, and Spielberg immediately told her he wanted the film rights. DreamWorks finalized the deal in 2001, and by the end of the year, John Logan signed on to write the script. His draft focused on Lincoln's friendship with Frederick Douglass. Playwright Paul Webb was hired to rewrite and filming was set to begin in January 2006, but Spielberg delayed it out of dissatisfaction with the script. Neeson said Webb's draft covered the entirety of Lincoln's term as President.

Tony Kushner replaced Webb. Kushner considered Lincoln "the greatest democratic leader in the world" and found the writing assignment daunting because "I have no idea [what made him great]; I don't understand what he did anymore than I understand how William Shakespeare wrote Hamlet or Mozart wrote Così fan tutte." He delivered his first draft late and felt the enormous amount written about Lincoln did not help either. Kushner said Lincoln's abolitionist ideals made him appealing to a Jewish writer, and although he felt Lincoln was Christian, he noted the president rarely quoted the New Testament and that his "thinking and his ethical deliberation seem very Talmudic". He denied any interest in portraying Lincoln as homosexual – as had been speculated due to Kushner's sexuality – because "there's [not] enough evidence one way or the other to make a definitive statement about Lincoln's sexuality".

By late 2008, Kushner joked he was on his "967,000th book about Abraham Lincoln". Kushner's initial 500-page draft focused on four months in the life of Lincoln, and by February 2009 he had rewritten it to focus on two months in Lincoln's life when he was preoccupied with adopting the Thirteenth amendment.
While promoting Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull in May 2008, Spielberg announced his intention to start filming in early 2009, for release in November, ten months after the 200th anniversary of Lincoln's birth. In January 2009, Taunton and Dighton, Massachusetts were being scouted as potential locations. Spielberg arranged a $50 million budget for the film, to please Paramount Pictures CEO Brad Grey, who had previously delayed the project over concerns it was too similar to Spielberg's commercially-unsuccessful Amistad (1997). Spielberg had wanted Touchstone Pictures–which agreed to distribute all his films from 2010–to distribute the film, but he was unable to afford paying off Paramount, which DreamWorks had developed the film with.

Filming took place in Petersburg, Virginia. According to location manager Colleen Gibbons, "one thing that attracted the filmmakers to the city was the 180-degree vista of historic structures" which is "very rare". Lincoln toured Petersburg on April 3, 1865, the day after it fell to the Union Army. Scenes have also been filmed at the Virginia State Capitol in Richmond, which served as the Capitol of the Confederacy during the Civil War. Abraham Lincoln visited the building on April 4, 1865, after Richmond fell to the Union Army.

On September 4, 2012, DreamWorks and Google Play announced on the film's Facebook page that they would release the trailer for the film during a Google+ hangout with Steven Spielberg and Joseph Gordon-Levitt on September 13, 2012 at 7pm EDT/4pm PDT. Then, on September 10, 2012, a teaser for the trailer was released.


Will Steven Spielberg's Lincoln stand tall at the Oscars?

Should Lincoln fail to manifest as a late era triumph for Steven Spielberg, it will not be for lack of preparation. A new book due to be published later this month in the UK, Spielberg: A Retrospective, reveals the film-maker has been planning this forthcoming biopic almost since childhood, when he was taken to Washington DC by an uncle to view the imposing Lincoln Memorial. A longstanding fascination with Abraham Lincoln developed, culminating in a promise made to the historical writer Doris Kearns Goodwin that Spielberg would option her book Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln before it was even written. The film-maker has since spent much of the past decade waiting patiently for screenwriters to filter it into the perfect celluloid snapshot of the 16th president of the United States' life.
Goodwin's book is largely about Lincoln's mercurial working relationship with the various members of his cabinet between 1861 and 1865, many of whom had run against him in the 1860 presidential election (hence the term "team of rivals"). The full trailer for the film, which hit the web yesterday, hints that Spielberg may have borrowed his source's view of the president as an arbitrator and reconciler who used his mediating skills to bring about the abolition of slavery and achieve victory in the American civil war. Lincoln has the feel of a project which will present a panoramic version of the period, rather than the more acute take one might have expected when Spielberg cast Daniel Day Lewis in the lead.

There is little hint here of Day Lewis's monolithic performance as the oil baron Daniel Plainview in Paul Thomas Anderson's There Will Be Blood, for instance. His Lincoln is sure-spoken, but only briefly theatrical in a short but determined speech about the need to abolish slavery "now now now". The famous Gettysburg address is given over to David Oyelowo's Union cavalryman, while a variety of political figures, from David Strathairn as Lincoln's secretary of state William Seward to Jackie Earl Haley's confederate vice president Alexander H Stephens, raise their heads prominently above the parapet as they peck at poor old Abe like snapping ganders.

A sweeping Spielberg epic then, no doubt, with the obligatory grand John Williams score, but one which appears to have an impressive level of detail at its core and an inclusive view of the men and women who helped the president to his greatest triumphs. Just look at that cast list:Tommy Lee Jones as abolitionist Thaddeus Stevens, Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln, Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the first couple's son, Jared Harris as Union general Ulysses S Grant, Tim Blake Nelson as New York congressman Richard Schell, James Spader as Democrat William N Bilboe, Walton Goggins, Bruce McGill. Screenwriter Tony Kushner has apparently condensed most of the action down to the turbulent last few months of Lincoln's life, but it feels like a rich maelstrom of political intrigue nonetheless.

Lincoln arrives in cinemas on 9 November in the US and 25 January in the UK. It is clearly being pitched as a serious Oscar-contender – but might Spielberg's fascination for his subject end up weighing the whole thing down a little? Or are you expecting the big man to pick up his fifth Oscar come next February's annual Academy get-together for what may be his most ambitious film so far?

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  • Bill J.

    Lincoln was memorable even after our showing sold out, in spite of a miserable experience at Grotto Wine Bar. Daniel Day Lewis was exquisite as wer all of the supporting actors. Lincoln has a lock on the Oscars! (I expect Grotto to close, a restaurant cannot survive with terrible food and dismal service. Grotto Wine Bar was a nightmare!)

    November 25, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    I couldn't take my eyes off Lincoln!!! A great film that I will enjoy seeing again.

    November 25, 2012

  • Bill J.

    Big change of plans. 7 pm show sold out. We are at Grotto and have purchased tickets for the 10 pm show. Best get them now and join us for dinner

    November 24, 2012

  • Bill J.

    Grotto Wine Bar will be giving members a 10-percent across-the-board discount!

    November 9, 2012

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