With votes due in just a couple of days, Oscar campaigning is nearly over, and the last few weeks have seen a fair bit of mudslinging. “Django Unchained” has been accused of playing fast and loose with the “n-word,” Kathryn Bigelow is a torture-loving patriot, Tom Hooper is too in love with his fish-eye lens and every single movie is too long. Drag out an Oscar contender, and you can find some dirt on it. But Steven Spielberg‘s “Lincoln” has largely gone by unscathed, except perhaps for some folks finding it too talky or stuffy. But leave it Samuel L. Jackson to throw some barbs at the movie.
Now, spoilers ahead for those of you who still haven’t seen the movie, but essentially, Spielberg’s film — which mostly concerns itself with the political intrigue behind Lincoln’s bid to end slavery — ends with the President’s off-camera assassination and death. Some have questioned why it needed to be in the movie at all, including Jackson. “I don’t understand why it didn’t just end when Lincoln is walking down the hall and the butler gives him his hat,” he said. “Why did I need to see him dying on the bed? I have no idea what Spielberg was trying to do.”
But that’s not all. “I didn’t need the assassination at all. Unless he’s going to show Lincoln getting his brains blown out. And even then, why am I watching it?” Jackson continued. “The movie had a better ending 10 minutes before.”
However, Spielberg has addressed the reasoning behind keeping John Wilkes Booth — both in name and person — out of the story. “We just knew we wouldn’t show the assassination, because it would sensationalize the story. It would have suddenly focused the movie on the shooter, not the president,” the director explained.
Of course, one could argue Jackson’s complaints about “Lincoln,” and how it could’ve ended earlier, could also apply to “Django Unchained,” but that’s neither here nor there. However, it’s more industry cross talk as everyone in Hollywood makes the final push before voting wraps up on Friday. Stay classy, Oscars… [LA Times]