Film
“Lincoln” Is Absolutely Stunning
By LaDale Anderson
Nov 21, 2012 - 7:35:17 PM

HOLLYWOOD—To deliver a great biopic on the big screen is a daunting task, but with Steven Spielberg behind the camera and Daniel Day-Lewis portraying the title character ask no more. Spielberg’s “ Lincoln” is a masterpiece in so many ways it’s difficult to use words to discuss the picture. Lewis completely embodies the 16th president of the United States in a way that will haunt the audience. While the make-up, costumes and mannerisms are captured effortlessly by the actor, it’s the uncanny feeling as a spectator you get from watching the actor on the screen.

 

He is Abraham Lincoln not just because he looks like him, but because he embodies him. It’s tricky to portray a character with so much angst and attitude during an era that was considered one of America’s darkest times, the time of slavery. But Lewis has a careful balance of intensity and compassion that works with ease. His performance is a domino effect of the other actors that surround him including Mary Todd Lincoln portrayed by Oscar-winner Sally Field. She is a strong-willed woman, and Field does exceptional work in front of the camera exploiting a character that many have little knowledge about.

Daniel_Day_Lewis_1.jpg
Daniel Day-Lewis

 

A fascinating aspect of the picture is to see the inner workings of Congress more than 150 years ago. Things haven’t changed as much; either you are for a particular ideal or you’re against it. Lincoln was a trailblazer; he fought for an injustice that so many others wanted to keep in place. Did it make him a target? Without a doubt, but he was willing to risk his own life to ensure the freedom of slaves. 

 

Lewis displays fierce moments of anguish as he debates with his own cabinet about why the slaves should be emancipated. As a spectator you can feel the passion the character has regarding this particular issue that has haunted African-Americans for years. Even worse, its still haunting America today and will do so until we cease to exist. Other primary players in the picture include Tommy Lee Jones as Thaddeus Stevens. Stevens, a Republican Congressional Leader is Lincoln’s greatest ally who at times battled against Lincoln. Jones does a stunning job in the role that requires a unique balance that only an actor of his caliber can deliver. 

So many of us have read in the history books about the path to abolish slavery, but so few of us actually understand the sacrifices that Lincoln made to ensure that the 13
th Amendment was passed. It was during a difficult time in the nation were both the North and South were at odds over the Civil War; a lot was at stake. So many of us know Abraham Lincoln as a calm collective man, but director Steven Spielberg allows the audience to discover sides of Lincoln that may be foreign to us.  He was a passionate man that loved everyone, even his enemies to a fault.

 

Lincoln” is that rare biopic that enthralls the spectator; once you’re sutured into the picture your eyes will not leave the screen until the movie has concluded. Daniel Day-Lewis is a revelation as Lincoln; audiences will feel as if they are having an in-depth conversation with one of the most intelligent Presidents of America. The movie has a lengthy running time at over two hours and twenty minutes, but it’s worth every single second.  Daniel may be taking another trip to the stage next year to collect his third Oscar for Lead Actor.  Is anyone out there willing to bet against me?



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