It took me a while to write about Lincoln, because I can’t really do it justice. This movie is too big, too important to just casually call a great movie. And it is great. SO GREAT. But it’s so much more. It’s a documentation of history through art and extreme reverence to accuracy and detail.
Taking on the story of everyone’s favorite republican was no small feat, but Steven Spielberg was undoubtedly the man to do it. He reported a childhood fascination with the president that he never outgrew. And as children, weren’t we all fascinated by Lincoln and George Washington? The penny, the wooden teeth, the cherry tree. Children today still love Lincoln and tomorrow’s children will surely watch Spielberg’s movie in school, loving him in a more sophisticated way than I ever did.
I don’t even know how to talk about Daniel Day Lewis’ performance. He simply IS Abraham Lincoln. From his long, slight frame and slightly bent posture, to his gray pallor, he really looked the part.
The framing of Lincoln not just as a leader, an intellectual, and a visionary, but also as a playful father and a patient, kind husband was masterfully done. This is slight hero worship, not a picture of a flawed human being, which is fine with me. Sometimes we just need a hero.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt played son Robert, in a small but powerful role.
Sally Field reminded us all what a brilliant actress she is. History doesn’t always look favorably on Mary Todd Lincoln, but Spielberg chose to. The portrayal was respectful and at times lightly humorous.
My favorite moments took place in the moments of heated debate. The politicking. The name-calling. This is a dialogue movie done so perfectly, I feel like crying. I did not expect such comedy.
I was never a devotee of Tommy Lee Jones…until now. His character, Representative Thaddeus Stevens is the true protagonist of the movie, despite the title. You’ll see many other familiar faces and I won’t spoil the surprises, as they are delightful and come in waves. Okay, one spoiler: James Spader plays possibly my favorite (small) character in the film.
Leading the Oscars with twelve nominations, we’re sure to hear Lincoln called repeatedly on February 24th. I am so invested in the Academy Awards this year that I have a countdown. (Nine days!) There were many amazing films this year and I’m conflicted on who to root for. Not to mention Seth MacFarlane is hosting. I can’t wait to see what he does to the normally stuffy show.
What films do you think deserve top honors? Did you see Lincoln? Leave a comment and tell me what you think.