What happens when you join the greatest living actor with the greatest living director, telling a story about one of the greatest of all American presidents? It can’t help but rise above the ordinary.
Directed by Steven Spielberg, “Lincoln” basically tells the story of the great man in the latter days of his life when he struggled to garner the votes in congress to pass the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery. The main character is as perfect for the role of Lincoln than anyone could imagine, as Daniel Day-Lewis not only presents the aura of the 16th president, he manages to speak with a high-pitched american accent for which Abe Lincoln was known.
Interesting to the story, is how Lincoln was personally involved in person-to-person arguments with members of congress in order to squeeze just enough votes to get the amendment approved before being ratified by the states.
Sally Field does a credible job as Mary Todd Lincoln, though it did not portray her emotional outbursts as chronic and nutty as they actually were.
This is not an action movie, but a drama based on historical accuracy and acted by the finest Hollywood has to offer. My only criticism is the absence of the assassination scene, which would have capped the ending of the movie better than it did. But whom am I to knock Steven Spielberg for his directing skills?
Trivia: Spielberg spent 12 years researching the film. He recreated Lincoln’s Executive Mansion office precisely, with the same wallpaper and books Lincoln used. The ticking of Lincoln’s watch in the film is the sound of Lincoln’s actual pocket watch. Lincoln’s watch is housed in the Kentucky Historical Society in Frankfort, Kentucky (not the Lincoln Presidential Library.) It is the watch he carried the day of his assassination.
For people who love great acting and American history excellently portrayed in period. It should reap a number of nominations.
This movie deserves a 9 1/2