Who Will Win the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Motion Picture? (PHOTOS)

Daniel Day-Lewis Bradley Cooper Richard Gere Bill Murry John Hawkes Ewan McGregor Joaquin Phoenix

Among the most heated races at the Golden Globes are the acting categories. Denzel Washington and Daniel Day-Lewis are in a virtual dead-heat for Best Actor in a drama, while newly Oscar-nominated Bradley Cooper (The Silver Linings Playbook) squares off opposite Les Mis frontrunner Hugh Jackman for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy.

On Sunday, January 13, the awards will be handed out, but who will win? Who should win? Let Celebuzz help you figure that out with our guide to the Best Actor nominees.

Just like we did for Best Actress in both drama and musical/comedy, we breakdown each of the talented actors nominated, provide an overview of their performance and the bottom line on their chances of winning.

This year is one of the most competitive ever; so many good actors cranked out some truly great performances. While a Golden Globe win is not a definite precursor to Oscar, it certainly doesn’t hurt one’s chances.

Which actor gets your vote? Tell us in the comments and watch our interview with Bradley Cooper for Silver Linings Playbook!

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Leonardo DiCaprio, Joaquin Phoenix and Matthew McConaughey: Favorite Male Movie Performances (PHOTOS)

Transformation is always a common quality that great actors seem to share, but in 2012, the one that seemed to dominate the year’s best performances was reinvention.

While Matthew McConaughey revived his career with a series of terrific – and different — turns in movies big and small, his Magic Mike co-star Channing Tatum proved that he could hold his own not just as a heartthrob, but as a bona fide actor.

Meanwhile, even the famously gifted Leonardo DiCaprio showed a different side of himself, having a bit of fun as a gloriously cruel plantation owner in Django Unchained, even as The Master‘s Joaquin Phoenix reminded viewers that he doesn’t simply play his characters, he becomes them.

Celebuzz has assembled a shortlist of the year’s best male performances, taking into account not just great acting, but the context of their work – what they’ve done in the past – and where they’re doing it.

Which is why Michael Sheen’s over-the-top turn as Aro in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 stands side by side with Phoenix and DiCaprio’s work: the gifted English actor gave such a flourish to his role that it stood out even more.

Then of course there’s the dark horses, those off-the-radar turns that earned accolades in critical circles but skirted mainstream attention because of subject matter that was simply too sophisticated for most.

Who made the list? Check out Celebuzz’ gallery of Favorite Male Performances above, and then below the trailer for Django Unchained, let us know whose acting impressed you the most. Or even better, who you think should have made this list that didn’t!

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Jennifer Lawrence Leads SAG Nominations; Johnny Depp’s ‘Transcendence’ Leaks Plot Details (VIDEO)

The Silver Linings Playbook and Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln lead the SAG Award Nominations, which were announced Wednesday in Los Angeles. Each film garnered 4 nominations each, including Best Ensemble. Playbook’s Jennifer Lawrence was nominated for Best Actress, and Daniel Day-Lewis snagged a Best Actor nom. For the complete list of nominees, click here!

Wally Pfister, the guy who shot Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, has enlisted Johnny Depp to star in his top-secret directorial debut, Transcendence. Plot details have been kept insanely close to the vest on the project, until now…

In a recent interview, Transcendence producer Andrew Kosove revealed that the story “involves a scientist (Depp) whose brain gets uploaded into a supercomputer with the aim of creating the world’s first machine that can think for itself.” Nanotechnology and artificial intelligence is also involved. Kosove also provided an update on the film’s casting: Noomi Rapace (Prometheus) is no longer in the running for the film’s lead female role, and Ewan McGregor passed on an early draft of the script. Depp’s casting is expected to attract an impressive ensemble, so Celebuzz will keep you posted. [The Wrap]

Fans of Community’s Gillian Jacobs are about to get their fix of the TV star on the big screen. The actress has signed on to join The Hunger GamesElizabeth Banks in the comedy Walk of Shame. The film, written and directed by Steve Brill, centers on a local news anchor (Banks) who, after a drunk one-night stand, wakes up broke and without her I.D. She must trek across Los Angeles to make it to a life-changing job interview. Jacobs will play Banks’ best friend, naturally. [The Hollywood Reporter]

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is getting a sequel?! Tinker, Tailor is getting a sequel. Producer Eric Fellner, while doing press rounds for his current film Les Miserables, revealed that director Tomas Alfredson and writer Peter Straughan are actively working on the screenplay for Smiley’s People, which once again centers on Gary Oldman’s retired spy, Smiley. [Collider]

Zero Dark Thirty’s Joel Edgerton is trading in assault rifles for six shooters for a role opposite Natalie Portman in the Western Jane Got a Gun. The film centers on Jane (Portman), a wife who must defend her homestead when her bad guy of a husband (Edgerton) goes on the run from his former gang of outlaws. Jane also stars Michael Fassbender as a gunslinger Jane hires to help her out. Production is set to start in February. [Deadline]

Which piece of movie news has you the most excited? Discuss in the comments below!

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Steven Spielberg, Daniel Day-Lewis Discuss the ‘Wonderful Surprise’ of Exploring ‘Lincoln’

Between the two of them, director Steven Spielberg and actor Daniel Day-Lewis have sustained the type of Hollywood careers that fill their peers and fans with envy.

Their first collaboration is shaping up to be one of their most successful ventures yet.

Lincoln, which stars Lewis as the nation’s Sixteenth President, is garnering some of the best notices ever for its director and star.

The film is also proving to be a hit with audiences, with Lincoln tallying over $70 million at the domestic box office – an impressive number when considering the subject matter and the current box office competition (Skyfall, Breaking Dawn — Part 2).

At a recent press conference, Celebuzz was on hand to hear Spielberg and Lewis discuss how they collaborated to make one of the year’s best films.  Here’s what they had to say:

Celebuzz: Mr. Spielberg, it seems like you’ve been wanting to do this all your life. What made this a passion project for you? And for Daniel, this iconic figure, what did you see as your greatest challenge in, in bringing him to life?

Steven Spielberg: I’ve just always had a personal fascination with the myth of Abraham Lincoln. Once you start to read about him and the Civil War and everything leading up to the Civil War you start to understand that the myth is created when we think we understand a character and we reduce him to a kind of cultural national stereotype.

Lincoln has been reduced to statuary over the last 60 years or more. Because there hasn’t been a lot of—there’s been more written about Lincoln than movies made about him or television portraying him. He’s kind of a stranger to our industry, to this medium… I just found that my fascination with Lincoln, which started as a child, got to the point where, after reading so much about him, I thought there was a chance to tell a segment of his life to moviegoers, and that’s how this whole fascination began.

Daniel Day-Lewis: The wonderful surprise with that man is you begin to discover him… he kind of welcomes you in. He’s very accessible… That took me by surprise. I had everything to learn and because, you know, apart from a few images, a statue, a cartoon, a few lines from the first inaugural, a few from the Gettysburg Address, that would be my entire knowledge of that man’s life. I think probably the most delicious surprise for me was the humor. To begin to discover what an important aspect of his character that was.

CB: When you’re taking on a particular section Lincoln’s life, how do you decide which section to dedicate the film to? And where that story stops?

SS: Well we had that discussion and, we tried to write the book [on which the movie is based]. Writer Tony Kushner, his first draft was 550 pages long. We needed to focus it on a working President and a father and a husband. You couldn’t do that if [the film] was just the greatest hits of Abraham Lincoln’s [presidency].

CB: Mr. Lewis, you spoke about your reluctance to take on this role. What eventually won you over about taking on the part?

DDL: Well, I don’t think I ever did know it was the right choice, but [I guess] I ran out of excuses at a certain point… Not that I didn’t take it seriously from the word “Go”, but it seemed inconceivable to me that I could be the person to help him to do that thing that he wished to do. And I did not want to be responsible for irrevocably staining the reputation of the greatest President this country’s ever known. It seemed to me a very difficult thing to try and tell that story, very difficult to try and do that in such a way that it could live.

SS: I met Daniel eight years ago, and I couldn’t get him to agree to come down the road with me. It wasn’t until Tony Kushner’s script that, which was more about the Presidency than the battles and the Civil War, [it wasn’t until then] that I was able to get that first shoe through the door. And then we met in Ireland, and at that point, without putting any extra pressure on Daniel… but if he had finally and ultimately said no, I would never had made the movie Abraham Lincoln. It would never — It’d be gone.

DDL: I mean, it really was for me a combination of that meeting… And then when Tony went away to continue working, I read Doris’s book, and I think that really became the platform for me, as it had been for Steven and Tony, from which I could believe that there was a, there was a living being to be discovered there, because [Doris] makes that so beautifully clear in her book.

CB: Because we’re in a politically charged moment in time when people are going to see this film, and write about it in context to what’s happening today… Do you have any interest in seeing how people interpret that?

SS: Of course. And, by the way, here’s the good news. The good news is the Constitution, the Founding Fathers, put together the principles of a Democratic Government, which are so sound that the process from 150 years ago is not that much different than the process of today. I think that really is one of the values of holding up a mirror to all of us who can only experience what we experience and have no frame of reference except what we read or what we view in documentaries about that time… And I’m really excited to see how deeply people will reach to contemporize our film far beyond how it deserves to be contemporized.

Lincoln is currently playing in theaters. Watch the trailer below!

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Steven Spielberg, Daniel Day-Lewis Discuss the ‘Wonderful Surprise’ of Exploring ‘Lincoln’

Between the two of them, director Steven Spielberg and actor Daniel Day-Lewis have sustained the type of Hollywood careers that fill their peers and fans with envy.

Their first collaboration is shaping up to be one of their most successful ventures yet.

Lincoln, which stars Lewis as the nation’s Sixteenth President, is garnering some of the best notices ever for its director and star.

The film is also proving to be a hit with audiences, with Lincoln tallying over $70 million at the domestic box office – an impressive number when considering the subject matter and the current box office competition (Skyfall, Breaking Dawn — Part 2).

At a recent press conference, Celebuzz was on hand to hear Spielberg and Lewis discuss how they collaborated to make one of the year’s best films.  Here’s what they had to say:

Celebuzz: Mr. Spielberg, it seems like you’ve been wanting to do this all your life. What made this a passion project for you? And for Daniel, this iconic figure, what did you see as your greatest challenge in, in bringing him to life?

Steven Spielberg: I’ve just always had a personal fascination with the myth of Abraham Lincoln. Once you start to read about him and the Civil War and everything leading up to the Civil War you start to understand that the myth is created when we think we understand a character and we reduce him to a kind of cultural national stereotype.

Lincoln has been reduced to statuary over the last 60 years or more. Because there hasn’t been a lot of—there’s been more written about Lincoln than movies made about him or television portraying him. He’s kind of a stranger to our industry, to this medium… I just found that my fascination with Lincoln, which started as a child, got to the point where, after reading so much about him, I thought there was a chance to tell a segment of his life to moviegoers, and that’s how this whole fascination began.

Daniel Day-Lewis: The wonderful surprise with that man is you begin to discover him… he kind of welcomes you in. He’s very accessible… That took me by surprise. I had everything to learn and because, you know, apart from a few images, a statue, a cartoon, a few lines from the first inaugural, a few from the Gettysburg Address, that would be my entire knowledge of that man’s life. I think probably the most delicious surprise for me was the humor. To begin to discover what an important aspect of his character that was.

CB: When you’re taking on a particular section Lincoln’s life, how do you decide which section to dedicate the film to? And where that story stops?

SS: Well we had that discussion and, we tried to write the book [on which the movie is based]. Writer Tony Kushner, his first draft was 550 pages long. We needed to focus it on a working President and a father and a husband. You couldn’t do that if [the film] was just the greatest hits of Abraham Lincoln’s [presidency].

CB: Mr. Lewis, you spoke about your reluctance to take on this role. What eventually won you over about taking on the part?

DDL: Well, I don’t think I ever did know it was the right choice, but [I guess] I ran out of excuses at a certain point… Not that I didn’t take it seriously from the word “Go”, but it seemed inconceivable to me that I could be the person to help him to do that thing that he wished to do. And I did not want to be responsible for irrevocably staining the reputation of the greatest President this country’s ever known. It seemed to me a very difficult thing to try and tell that story, very difficult to try and do that in such a way that it could live.

SS: I met Daniel eight years ago, and I couldn’t get him to agree to come down the road with me. It wasn’t until Tony Kushner’s script that, which was more about the Presidency than the battles and the Civil War, [it wasn’t until then] that I was able to get that first shoe through the door. And then we met in Ireland, and at that point, without putting any extra pressure on Daniel… but if he had finally and ultimately said no, I would never had made the movie Abraham Lincoln. It would never — It’d be gone.

DDL: I mean, it really was for me a combination of that meeting… And then when Tony went away to continue working, I read Doris’s book, and I think that really became the platform for me, as it had been for Steven and Tony, from which I could believe that there was a, there was a living being to be discovered there, because [Doris] makes that so beautifully clear in her book.

CB: Because we’re in a politically charged moment in time when people are going to see this film, and write about it in context to what’s happening today… Do you have any interest in seeing how people interpret that?

SS: Of course. And, by the way, here’s the good news. The good news is the Constitution, the Founding Fathers, put together the principles of a Democratic Government, which are so sound that the process from 150 years ago is not that much different than the process of today. I think that really is one of the values of holding up a mirror to all of us who can only experience what we experience and have no frame of reference except what we read or what we view in documentaries about that time… And I’m really excited to see how deeply people will reach to contemporize our film far beyond how it deserves to be contemporized.

Lincoln is currently playing in theaters. Watch the trailer below!

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‘Breaking Dawn,’ ‘Skyfall’ and ‘Lincoln’: What Are Thanksgiving 2012′s Must-See Movies? (GALLERY)

Aside from eating foods people only really eat once a year, Thanksgiving is also the time to spend a day or two at the movies.

The holiday traditionally gives Hollywood one of its biggest weekends of the year, and this year’s holiday season is no exception. Several movies are jockeying for your attention at the box office, and Celebuzz has your guide to which films are playing at a theatre near you.

Chris Hemsworth‘s Red Dawn remake and Dreamworks’ animated movie Rise of the Guardians lead the charge of new releases this week, alongside new movies from Brad Pitt and director Ang Lee

With movies like Skyfall and Twilight: Breaking Dawn — Part 2 still doing strong business at the multiplex, it’s going to be Box Office Thunderdome as the new films compete with the holdovers. Thankfully there’s plenty of time over the break to catch a movie or three.

Check out our guide to ten noteworthy films Hollywood wants you to see this Thanksgiving. First, we roll out the new releases, along with their release dates, followed by recently-released films.

From James Bond to Team Edward, there’s something for everyone in theaters this week… Which movie will you see for the first or sixth time? Sound off in the comments below! And while you figure out which movie is worth your hard-earned allowance money, check out the trailer for the new release Red Dawn

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‘Lincoln’ Anchored by Transcendent Performance From Daniel Day-Lewis (MOVIE REVIEW)

When the two names Abraham Lincoln and Steven Spielberg are put together, it’s easy to imagine extended battle scenes beneath iron-gray skies, deeds of derring do, death and honor exquisitely edited to somber, elegiac music by John Williams.

But there’s very little of that in Lincoln, a verbally dense drama played out in offices and meeting places in the Capitol as the president attempts to garner enough votes to pass the 13th Amendment and abolishing slavery.

Spielberg’s latest is masterfully crafted but has a lethargic pace and a nearly exclusive focus on politics that some will find tedious. One thing both fans and detractors will agree on is Daniel Day-Lewis delivers yet another astonishing performance and will almost certainly be nominated come awards season.

What makes Day-Lewis’ performance special?

Lincoln has been portrayed numerous times on the big screen, notably by Henry Fonda in the 1939 classic, Young Mr. Lincoln. But as memorable as Fonda is, after seeing the new movie, it’s difficult to imagine anybody but Day-Lewis in the role.

Ironically, when we think of the 16th President, we think of a powerful presence with a thunderous voice, a character ideally suited to Day-Lewis. In fact, Lincoln had a high, reedy voice which Day-Lewis adapts with results that are jarring at first, but soon mitigated by the sagacity of his words and the poetry of his phrasing.

In the months leading up to his assassination, the 56-year-old president is a tired man, with the weight of four years of conflict hanging heavily on his shoulders. Day-Lewis plays him slow of speech and movement — one who is wise beyond his years and patient in his ways.

Seen by his cabinet as political suicide, the 13th Amendment embodies for Lincoln the irrefutable Euclidean equation of equality, fairness and justice — an ideal he would defend to his death.

Playwright Tony Kushner, who co-wrote Munich for Spielberg, adapts Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Team Of Rivals more as a stage play than a screenplay, with dense, dialogue-driven scenes strung out over two and a half hours.

While there are times Lincoln feels like the best HBO movie ever, Kushner, a Pulitzer Prize-winner for his play Angels In America, is a wordsmith with few equals in television or cinema. He artfully interweaves volumes of exposition, character and backstory with lyrical vocabulary and speech patterns customary to the times, adapting a mid-nineteenth century tongue in a manner that sounds authentic and naturally poetic.

Spielberg’s movie relies heavily on a legion of supporting players including David Straithairn as Secretary of State William Seward, Hal Holbrook as Republican Party founder Preston Blair and Jared Harris as Ulysses S. Grant.

The President’s political operatives — played by James Spader, Tim Blake Nelson and John Hawkes – add much needed comic relief as they canvas Democratic senators, scouring for votes.

Sally Fields enjoys a shrill and tragic turn as Mary Todd Lincoln, Abe’s emotionally unstable wife still mourning the death of their young son three years earlier. While the Civil War rages outside, she represents Lincoln’s own “divided house” at home, one which leaves him at a loss. Fields brings a needed distaff balance to the material, and her odd logic and emotional concerns standing in contrast to the political proceedings.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt has a thankless role as the Lincoln’s eldest son Robert on a return visit from Harvard. Other than one memorable scene outside a military hospital where his dreams of enlisting in the army are finally put to rest, he is given little to do.

The most memorable supporting role goes to Tommy Lee Jones as Pennsylvania representative Thaddeus Stevens, a like-minded abolitionist who feels the 13th Amendment doesn’t go far enough.

A consummate character actor, Jones gets to show his craggy old man side, one that comes a bit too easily to him. He is at his best when arguing before the House where he is a font of witty insults and invective. Ornery, smug, officious and sly as a fox, Jones stands out in the ensemble and delivers an Oscar-caliber performance.

Spielberg’s wide-ranging cast and period-specific sets are lit by long-time collaborator and cinematographer Janusz Kaminski, whose cold winter light leaks through tall windows into high ceilinged rooms.

Kaminski’s work lends an atmosphere of authenticity that complements Rick Carter’s detailed production design. His sets and furnishings have the telltale element of specificity but never feel embalmed.

With a lavish and distinctive look, superb acting and artfully rendered material, it’s difficult to call Lincoln anything but a grand success. But some audiences will find it a bit too demanding while others will see a sublime and thoughtful movie about a time when leadership showed moral resolve and courage.

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‘Skyfall’ vs. ‘Lincoln’: Box Office Battle (POLL)

It’s a battle of the Daniels at the box office this weekend.

British hunk Daniel Craig and two-time Academy Award winner Daniel Day-Lewis each star in two of the year’s biggest films, taking on the role of history’s — whether fictional or not — most beloved icons.

So who are these contenders?

In one corner, Craig reprises the role of famous English spy James Bond in the film series’ 23rd installment, Skyfall. Also starring Judi Dench as the famous M, the film revolves around Bond tracking down a threat to the M16 — and destroying it at all costs.

The movie also sees the debut of Ben Whishaw as Q, M16′s quartermaster, and Bond girls Bérénice Marlohe and Naomie Harris.

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Meanwhile, Day-Lewis takes on the role of America’s 16th president in Lincoln. Directed by Steven Spielberg, the movie follows the final four months of Abraham Lincoln‘s life before he was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth.

Though Lincoln opens this Friday to select theaters, the movie is already a critical darling and looks to be a major contender at this year’s Oscars, debuting  with an overall 92 percent freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Which movie will you go see this weekend? Sound off below.

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‘Lincoln’ International Trailer: Daniel Day-Lewis Seeks to Abolish Slavery (VIDEO)

Daniel Day-Lewis fights to pass the 13th Amendment in the new international trailer for Lincoln, released Monday by DreamWorks.

In the trailer, moviegoers get a closer look at Day-Lewis’ portrayal of President Abraham Lincoln as he aims to abolish slavery during the Civil War.

“Slavery, sir, it’s done,” a stern Lincoln says amid protests from civilians and Congress.

The trailer also teases more from performances by Tommy Lee Jones and Sally Field, both of whom generated serious Oscar buzz after the film screened at the New York Film Festival in October.

Lincoln opens in theaters Nov. 9.

Watch the new trailer, above.

Election 2012: 26 Celebrities Who’ve Played the President On-Screen (GALLERY)

The U.S. presidential election may be just weeks away, but 2012 is all about former president Abraham Lincoln.

The American icon is the subject of two movies being released this year: the alternate-universe, action flick Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, and Steven Spielberg‘s biopic Lincoln.

From Daniel Day-Lewis to Benjamin Walker, many actors in Hollywood have stepped up to the plate to portray the president of the United States on-screen.

But seeing how Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are duking it out at the voter’s booth this November (not to mention their fiery debates trending worldwide), there’s no doubt this election will be too documented on TV and movies for years to come.

In fact, Saturday Night Live players Fred Armisen and Jay Pharoah have both played the part of Obama on the NBC sketch comedy show.

Who else has been president — Hollywood-wise? Launch the gallery to find out.

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New ‘Lincoln’ Trailer Offers Better Look at Daniel Day-Lewis as the Iconic Leader (VIDEO)

Forget Mitt Romney or Barack Obama. If you watched last night’s debate, no one came off as more presidential than Daniel Day-Lewis.

The two-time Oscar-winner was front and center in the newest trailer for Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, which debuted at the end of last night’s televised presidential debate.

Dubbed “Unite,” the two-minute clip offered a much deeper look at Day-Lewis’ performance as Abraham Lincoln than did the first full-length trailer released three weeks ago.

What was so striking about the film’s Lincoln, as seen in the “Unite” clip?

The Abraham Lincoln revealed in the new clip seems both larger and smaller than life.

“Think we choose to be born? Or are we fitted to the times we’re born into?” Day-Lewis’ Lincoln is heard asking at the beginning of the trailer, over historical footage of other great liberators (Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela).

The question suggests a hero who, like the others cited in the montage, was an ordinary man who rose spectacularly to the occasion during a time of crisis. The President Lincoln shown throughout the rest of the trailer seems both plagued by self-doubt — apparent in a cracking, high-pitched voice that’s more Peter Brady than Morgan Freeman — and angrily resolute about what the morally right thing to do is.

In other words, it’s the kind of grand, internal struggle tailor-made for the actor who brought us Daniel Plainview, John Proctor, Newland Archer, and Christy Brown.

It’s a dramatic improvement over the first trailer, which showed very little of Day-Lewis’ Lincoln and seemed to embalm him in noble, great-man trappings and soft-fanfare music, making him seem more like an animatronic figure at Disney World’s Hall of Presidents than a flesh-and-blood man who, through force of will and personality, overcame daunting obstacles, including his own frailties, to answer history’s call. The first clip seemed to herald a movie that would present a safe, reverent portrait of the Lincoln we all learned about in school. The “Unite” clip suggests a movie that will strip away all that and force us to consider anew what it was about Lincoln that makes us admire him still.

Both trailers have been clever as far as the manner of their release is concerned.

“Unite” appeared just at the moment when Americans are thinking most carefully about the qulities they seek in a president. The earlier trailer was unveiled during a Google+ hangout chat between Spielberg and fans, suggesting that the movie’s revisiting of the 19th century was undertaken by artists fully conversant with the 21st century.

Compare and contrast for yourself the new “Unite” clip, at the top of this article, with the original trailer, below. Does the new trailer make you more or less eager to see Lincoln when it opens on November 16? Let us know in the comments below.