Sunday, January 13, 2013

Movie Review --- Lincoln

First I'll say that this movie was not what I expected AT ALL.  I was expecting a movie about the civil war and Lincoln's place in it.  No.  This is about his desire and PASSION to pass the 13th amendment to the constitution and how he maneuvered the congress to get it passed.  And the movie is almost 3 hours long.

Once it was evident that we would not be getting an "action" movie from Spielberg, I was skeptical that could sit still that long for a chance to watch the congress argue with itself (we haven't changed much in all these years, have we?) But, I was quite surprised to find myself enthralled by it and the hours just flew by.
The acting by this talented cast was superb...Daniel Day Lewis played a flawless Lincoln, at least the Lincoln I think he was.  Very tall, awkward in his gait and old-age riddled, wearing blankets around his aging shoulders to stay warm, trying to be a good father despite his responsibilities to the country, dealing with a wife who has been driven insane by the death of her son.  Sally Fields really rips into playing an overweight, insane, argumentative Mary Todd Lincoln - great job. I read somewhere that she deliberately put on 25 pounds to play this part authentically.

The other talented cast members will be recognizable -- Tommy Lee Jones as Thaddeus Stevens, James Spader plays an overweight, sweaty, and totally laugh-inducing Bilbo (this was our sex symbol back in the 80s??? Kudos to him for taking this part and making it such a scene stealer!! He was amazing.)  Hal Holbrook, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Jackie Haley plays the VP of the Confederate States, Tim Blake Nelson....I think you'll see many of your favorites in the movie.

As I watched, I was thinking that Spielberg has made a movie here that should be shown in High Schools across this country for years, but probably won't.  Liberal teachers won't want to be reminding young people that it was Republicans who worked so hard to free slaves, and Democrats who didn't want it.  I'm sure historians will find some minor points in the movie to nit-pick and argue about, but that's not one of them.
4 Stars.  GO SEE IT!

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