“Shall we stop this bleeding?”
I knew Lincoln was going to be a good movie even before I saw it. How can anyone ever go wrong with a Steven Spielberg picture? I was not prepared for how impressive and how amazing the movie is. Never for one moment was Lincoln dry and boring as if we were watching a history lesson before our eyes. You are watching a story, an actual nail biting story with touching and thought provoking moments.
The story is about Abraham Lincoln’s struggle over ending the Civil War and gaining enough votes for the Thirteenth Amendment to end slavery. If he ends the war the south will keep its slaves and never free them if he does not pass the amendment first. On the other hand the war needs to end thousands and thousands of young men have sacrificed their lives and even more have lost homes and land. Congress cannot come to an agreement over the amendment. Arguing goes on and on much like it does today with bills and other items stuck in limbo.
We get to see Abraham Lincoln not as the myth he has become today. He is a family with two sons and a wife. We see his struggles. Most importantly we see his humanness. We see he was a good man who wanted good for his nation and its people. We see him struggle through every decision and action he or Congress or the army make. The writers made movie Lincoln personable and warm. I can only hope that this movie will bring this brilliant man into a more human light.
The cast was phenomenal. In all seriousness if Daniel Day-Lewis and Sally Field are not at least nominated for an Academy Award there is something completely wrong with Hollywood. Day-Lewis’s performance is one of the best I have seen in ages. You were not watching an actor you are watching the character. Field is just so damn good in anything she does. Mary Todd Lincoln was a very complex person full of grief and sadness over the loss of her sons. Field played the rollercoaster emotions of Mary Lincoln to perfection. Joseph Gordon- Levitt was not in the film that much but of course he was great. Tommy Lee Jones was the man. He was the perfect choice for his character. It was interesting to see Lee Pace play an angry Congressman from the late 1800s. He seems so quiet and he was angry and mean here! One of the last scenes of the movie with him was one of the best. There are so many great actors that it would take me forever to review them all. Every one of actors and actresses were stunning no one did a bad job in the slightest.
Steven Spielberg is just awe inspiring with his direction. The story was personal so his direction was personal. You feel like you are in the room with the characters. Adding to Spielberg’s genius direction is the cinematography by Janusz Kaminski. The movie is dark. The only bright colors are the scenes in Congress and the outside scenes other than those scenes the interiors are dark. I believe Kaminski captured the time period perfectly. It was dark inside compared to outside there were no electric lights. Through the colors and direction you can feel the cold atmosphere and you can feel the history seeping out of every frame.
Lincoln will most likely go down as one of the great historic movies and one of the greatest movies about the life of Abraham Lincoln of all time. As I said we are not watching a myth on the screen we are watching a man. If you like Steven Spielberg’s movies especially War Horse you will like Lincoln. If you enjoy an excellently written and acted movie you will like Lincoln.