Saturday, December 1, 2012

Lincoln - My Review

Lincoln  -  2012  -  Directed by Steven Spielberg

Steven Spielberg's epic new movie "Lincoln" is further proof that Daniel Day Lewis is one of the finest actors working in film today. His is not a performance of impersonation but rather a boldly and remarkably new, detailed rendering of one of history's most important figures.

The film starts off with Lincoln on the battlefield (one of the few scenes of war in this picture) and brings his famous Gettysburg speech with an interesting twist. Rather than have Lincoln deliver it, soldiers recite it back to him. This scene sets the tone for the whole film which is not merely going for theatrics but is instead going for the message.

"Lincoln" the film is set in the weeks leading up to his attempts to end the civil war and end slavery as well. One of the misstep's I believe this film makes is that it is more about backroom politics and wheeling and dealing than it is about raw emotion. Lincoln will forever be remembered as the man who ended slavery, and rightly so, but this picture goes to great lengths to show the toll it took on him, his presidency, and his family to accomplish this goal. Scene after scene is about buying votes and swaying opinions by any means necessary. Doesn't seem like much has changed in the nation's capitol.

One scene will forever stay with me and I wish that Spielberg had choose to end the film with it. While he leads the proceedings right up to Lincolns assassination he chooses not to show it. A previous scene (my favorite) shows Lincoln walking out of the White House after the 13th Amendment was passed and it is eerily reminiscent of John Ford's shot of John Wayne in The Searchers, one of Spielberg's all time favorite films. As The Searchers showed Wayne walking off into the sunset this showed Lincoln walking off into history and it would of been fitting and cinematically more powerful if it had ended on that note.

Rating: 8 out of 10

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