The DL is me putting my movie critic hat on. Today, reviewing Spielberg’s verbose period piece “Lincoln”. You’ve seen the reviews, every major critic is creaming over this film, and rightfully so. If you’re expecting an expansive film covering Lincoln’s life and Civil War, you won’t get that here. Instead, you’ll learn about Lincoln’s obsession with leaving behind a lasting legacy, a legacy that would be written into law in the form of the 13th Amendment which would abolish slavery.
The film kicks off with an amazingly brutal battle scene which had union and confederate soldiers, fighting tooth and nail to the death. I admit, I hoped for much more of that – I never got it. I’ll have to rent “Glory” again to get my fill. From that point on, the film did feel like one giant monologue. To Spielberg’s defense, he didn’t set out to create Lincoln’s biopic or hybrid war epic – but rather a focused snapshot of Lincoln’s last days in ending slavery and the civil war, the priority which provided the film’s core drama. ‘Lincoln’ was an entertaining expose of the backdoor politics that honest Abe allegedly engaged in, to get enough votes to pass the amendment. The political wrangling was fascinating, and did show us a side of President Lincoln that is somewhat contradictory to the martyr-like perception most Americans have of him. What the film did show was a man of great patience and fortitude, a man who rather be your friend than your ally, a man with an incredible legal acumen that he cleverly used as the basis for his humane efforts. Here’s the trailer that got me hooked..
Again, don’t be fooled by the peppered images of war. 80% of the film are interiors, with Lincoln winning over members of his cabinet, one by one, in supporting his seemingly impossible feat of passing the 13th Amendment. ‘Lincoln’ could very well hold the world record for most dialogue in a single film! Lastly, I’m certain Daniel Day Lewis will win another Oscar for this. He’s famously known for studying his characters for a year prior to filming, and this was certainly no exception. He brought such nuance and humanity to a president most of us only know from history textbooks and folk tales. Go watch this f**king film.