Saturday, February 2, 2013

Lincoln Review

Lincoln Review

Director: Steven Spielberg

Cast Headliners: Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field

Original Release Date: November 9th, 2012

Abraham Lincoln could be said to be our nation’s greatest president. He was faced with a nation ripped apart, a place where brother has been forced to fight against brother. He is a man respected by so many that it is not hard to craft a piece of entertainment that is universally enjoyable. Spielberg has accomplished this task and more.
Lincoln had a long and famous life, but the film focuses on its twilight.  The entire film is set in 1865. The main plot arc follows the tremendous effort it took to free the slaves and get the Thirteenth Amendment passed.  The film is good at showing the actual opposition against the amendment by Lincoln’s political opponents. The scenes in the courthouse are thrillingly intense and feature some heated arguments.
But who is it who is giving the arguments? Well that would be Daniel Day-Lewis as good ol Abe, giving a fantastic performance as always. The audience may think he is Lincoln himself for that is how quality his effort is.  Apparently, DDL would even wear his costume around off set and talk in character. That shows dedication, and in the film he sounds just as one would imagine the president would. He showcases an incredible range of emotion and power. He seems like someone that would really be elected president and would really be capable of holding America together.  Lincoln is ferocious when it comes to defending his views against the opposing party, and makes some very inspiring speeches. It is a shame to see him die at the end of the film (spoilers). He certainly deserves, and should win, the nomination for best actor of the year 2012.
The rest of the cast isn’t too shabby either. Sally Field is nearly as good as Mary Todd Lincoln. She was a woman who had it tough, but she shows in this film to be just as tenacious as her husband.  The other standout performance in this film, aside from Abe, is Tommy Lee Jones as abolitionist Thaddeus Stevens. His energetic presence is welcome in the debate room, and he has some thrilling political standoffs.  TLJ is at his finest here and in some ways is even more entertaining than Lincoln himself, though of course Lincoln makes more of an impact and owns the screen time. Also of note are lobbyists hired to obtain votes, played by James Spader and Tim Blake Nelson. They give the movie a surprisingly funny element.
Steven Spielberg is a veteran of the historical film. He has covered most decades of the 20th century. As with all his other films, this movie has wonderful costumes and sets. It is a classic historical epic that really takes the audience back to that time with its sights and also the quality soundtrack.  Perhaps a flaw is that it runs too long, it is a very serious political drama which sometimes loses focus.
This is a minor flaw, because otherwise Lincoln is a fantastic film about the man with that name. DDL brings the man to the modern era for all to see, and the film has some great characters and scenes. A history movie that is great from a modern perspective. This film gets a 8.85 out of 10

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