Directed by Steven Spielberg
“Lincoln” is not about a President; it’s about a man. Daniel Day-Lewis plays an honestly human Abe with feelings, humor, and troubling insecurities – an Abraham Lincoln more than a stone monument. Spielberg’s film is a 150-minute portrait of an American hero like no one has seen him before.
It’s seven score and seven years ago, 1865, and Lincoln’s cabinet is trying to convince members of the House to vote for the passage of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Racial equality and peace; who can argue with that? These fiery Democrats sure can try. But it’s the backdrop of the political struggle – the one at home, between the President, his wife Mary Todd (Sally Field), and his sons Robert (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Tad (Gulliver McGrath) – that offers the most insatiable drama. Robert wants to fight for his country instead of being a lawyer like his father; Mary Todd calls Tad her husband’s “favorite son.” Spielberg gives it to us straight, no holds barred, history with a bitter aftertaste – truth.
And that is, for the most part, what it seems to be – truth. Besides a few details left out of put in to make for a more manageable run-time and dramatic story, Spielberg deserves praise for getting it right.
“Lincoln” is also a huge hit with the critics! 8.4/10 on IMDb, 7 Golden Globe nominations, 4 S.A.G. nods, and who knows how much Oscar will love it? (hint: probably a lot). Daniel Day-Lewis gives the best performance I’ve seen in a film all year, giving genuine humanity to the 16th President. His emotion is unmatched. Sally Field and Tommy Lee Jones (as Republican congressman Thaddeus Stevens) are also receiving nominations for their impressive performances.
“Lincoln” is more than a historical piece of drama – it’s a dramatic piece of history. And it should be remembered for years to come.