Sunday, November 11, 2012


Daniel Day-Lewis creates an astounding portrayal of America’s 16th President in Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln.

Shot in a colored daguerreotype style by Janusz Kaminski, this must-see film is a cross between drama and docudrama, taking place over the last 4 months of Lincoln’s life, when he fought for passage of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which outlaws slavery.


While most of us have heard of the Emancipation Proclamation, most (like me) probably don’t know that the Proclamation was an executive order of the President that outlawed slavery only in the 10 Confederate States.  It was the 13th Amendment that outlawed slavery everywhere in the Union and it had to be passed before the end of the Civil War for fear it would never be passed once the rebellious states returned to the fold.

Lincoln had to play a dangerous game of holding off the South’s surrender while lobbying for passage, thus allowing the heinous fighting and death to continue in the meantime.

What is most compelling is Lincoln the man, as well as Lincoln the President.

This was a time before Secret Service guards, when one could easily walk right into the White House, when, obviously, the President could be approached so easily by an assassin.

Great filmmaking informs, as well as entertains.  And, that is what Spielberg is able to do here.
The cast is exceptional, with Tommy Lee Jones as abolitionist Thaddeus Stevens being the standout supporting actor.
Most interesting is the comparison to today and realizing it’s same-old-same-old with fundamentalists still trying to hold up progress.

I give Lincoln a 4+ out of 5.

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