Wednesday, November 28, 2012
The road to the Oscars's starts here! Lincoln was one of those movies that you walk away from thinking there is no way another film could beat it this awards season.
Lincoln follows Abraham Lincoln at the beginning of his second term and his struggle to end the civil war, pass the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery, and healing a broken nation. In the months before his death he struggled with House Democrats who refused to sign anything saying slavery was an abonomation and an affront against God. The House Democrats were also skeptical of the President negotiating with the south and how those negotiations with the south would be tainted by the passing of a bill outlawing something that seemed inherent in the traditions of the south. The Republicans opposed the President negotiating with the south seeing as how they were rebels and not a separate nation to negotiate with.
The movie is more like an epic West Wing episode than the story of the Civil War or the assassination of the President. The story follows Lincoln and his allies as they try to persuade opponents in the House to sign the 13th Amendment while also secretly planning a sit down with the leaders of the south to negotiate a truce.
Daniel Day Lewis, President Lincoln, delivers an outstanding performance. While no one knows what Lincoln sounded like or how he walked or moved, Lewis portrays him exactly as you would think Lincoln would be. Sally Field delivers a powerful performance of Mary Todd. Most people do not think too much of her when they think of Lincoln, but she was an important partner and obstacle in his legacy and Field portrays her flaws and odd sense of love in an incredible way. Tommy Lee Jones plays grumpy old Thaddeus Stevens who battles Lincoln at every turn and has earned the scorn of Mary Todd. However when it comes to slavery, the two men see eye to eye and he works his "charm" to convince members of his party to defect with him and side with the President to abolish slavery. Jones' performance ranks amongst his greatest ever.
Steven Spielbergs direction was impeccable as ever. The movie came in at about 2 and a half hours but Spielberg keeps the story moving so well, you almost could sit there for another 2 hours. The sets were outstanding, the cinematography breathtaking and playing an important role in building the enormity of the situation and time.
The only adverse feeling to this film I had was the ending. While this will not spoil anything, of course Lincoln's story ends in his assassination. There were several moments at the end of this film I think would have been incredible finales to an outstanding film. I had hoped that the assassination would not be the ending since the film was not about his assassination or the hunt for the killer. We had already seen that in The Conspirator. While the assassination was handled nicely and did not ruin the movie, I felt like it detracted from what he had just accomplished and think the film would have been just as good if not even better leaving it with his political success rather than his assassination.
This movie should be an oscar sweep based on other possible nominations I have seen so far. From Best Movie to Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Supporting Actor, and many other artistic awards, we should see a big night for this film. I highly recommend seeing this film and give it 5 stars.
Movie poster from: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0443272/?ref_=fn_al_tt_2