I really enjoyed Lincoln. If you’re expecting the typical, epic biographical pic, then you’d be mistaken. Instead, Stephen Spielberg gives us a focused, specific glimpse at a defining moment in a man’s and a country’s life. This movie focused more Lincoln trying to pass the thirteenth amendment to the Constitution that will allow slavery.
Daniel Day-Lewis is superb, as usual. It’s so unbelievable how much he transformed himself look exactly like Lincoln. Clearly, Lincoln was an intelligent man, but Day-Lewis constantly reveals to us his brilliance and legal acumen. Amazing! His performance was not made in a vacuum. The whole star-studded cast was magnificent. This group includes: Sally Field, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, James Spader, Hal Holbrook, Tommy Lee Jones, John Hakes, and Jackie Earl Haley.
The aspect that stood out to me most from this movie was the perspective given to Abraham Lincoln, the family man. Seeing Lewis and Field continually squabble as husband and wife reminded us that this man had personal responsibilities and distractions that competed for his focus and time. It was also interesting to see him play a doting father to his youngest son as well as a tough, but loving father to older son (Levitt) who was chomping at the bit to join the war. Lincoln clearly carried heavy burdens from his past and present that he didn’t let affect our future.
Another take-home from this film was how much politics and the accompanying strategies played a part in the process of eliminating slavery. I don’t know why this surprises me, but I guess I thought it was a simpler time then. It’s also stunning to me to think (with my 2013 mind) that anyone was ever for slavery. Stunning. All that to say, this movie is a must see.