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Steven Spielberg is directing a new movie about Lincoln, starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Sally Field. Mixed feelings about this one.

Principal filming is scheduled to begin this fall at various historical locations in Petersburg and Richmond, the former capital of the Confederacy. The film is scheduled for release in 2012. Sally Field will play Mary Todd Lincoln.

The Virginia Film Office said Spielberg, who has filmed twice before in Virginia, selected those two cities because of the abundance of historic properties that date to the period. The state also offered financial incentives totaling nearly $5 million.

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I understand the mixed feelings. Day-Lewis, IMO, will be a brilliant Lincoln. If any actor working today can bring out the profound complexity of the man, it's DDL. Sally Field as Mary is problematic. I don't think she can come close to matching DDL's charisma and screen presence. And can she convincingly portray Mary Lincoln's mental illness? It's doubtful. No disrepect to Field, but she's not in the same league as DDL. I would have cast Jennifer Jason Leigh as Mary. She's a far better actress and would have had interesting chemistry with DDL.

Anyway, I can't wait to see the film and what should be another magnificent piece of work by DDL.

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Sally Field is a good actress but she's too old for the part, and along with you I wonder how she'll mesh with Day-Lewis.

Day-Lewis is the obvious choice given the competition but although I admire him greatly I haven't always admired him recently. But then America isn't currently producing the actors of a certain national type who would have once been cast in the roles DDL has taken on of late. There are no Hustons, no Fondas.

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