Review: Lincoln

THE SETUP: You want to end slavery but the Civil War is raging, the Senate is divided, you’ve got a few months until your assassinated and you look like Daniel Day-Lewis…what’s a president to do?

THE THOUGHTS: The easy recommendation is to go for Daniel Day-Lewis’ performance. As soon as the movie ends, you’re brain just blares: OSCAR. But he’s had good performances before, so what makes this stand out? Well, I’ve never met Lincoln and my only reference is an animatronic at Disneyland but I have to say, it felt like he WAS the icon. Only, he brought such realism and humanity to the role. It was amazing to experience (and I say “experience” instead of “watch” on purpose)

But he wasn’t alone, the entire cast was great. The two that will definitely also get a supporting nod are Tommy Lee Jones, as Republic rival Thaddeus Stevens, and Sally Fields, as his wife Mary Todd Lincoln. Both added so much to their scenes with and with out Lincoln.

But it actually isn’t the performances that will make me recommend this to you, it’s the history lesson. I’m sure many a student has learned a thing or two about Abraham Lincoln, but this movie does a great job of highlighting the politics of the day and the manipulation necessary to get anything accomplished. It really showcased the work done to get the 13th amendment passed, and it wasn’t pretty. I felt like I was watching a historical moment being crafted by a master politician, in the face of unbelievable odds, simply because he knew it was the right thing to do. To feel something like that was pretty incredible. Thanks Steven Spielberg.

LINCOLN Rating:
5 stars – tell everyone you know. You don’t have to be a history nut, or an American, to really grasp the value this historical milestone. It might feel a bit long (almost 2.5 hours) but this flick will draw you in and make you feel smarter. That’s a better return on investment than I got from some of my college courses.

Random Recommendations
Frost/Nixon (2008) – Manipulation, grandstanding, lies, a microphone and a worldwide audience. This moment in time when British talk-show host David Frost interviewed disgraced former president Richard Nixon was captivating and the film doesn’t disappoint its recreation.

 Review: Lincoln
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