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42 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent, Impressive Look at Lincoln and the Times; Gotta Give it 5 Stars, January 29, 2013
This review is from: Lincoln (DVD)
Lincoln isn't a perfect movie (what is?) but it is extremely impressive. It only suffers in comparison to what a "perfect" movie about Lincoln would be. In comparison to mere mortal movies, it gets 5 stars. I can't believe that it would get any competition for a Best Picture Oscar from silly films like Django Unchained. Argo was good, but not nearly as good as this one. Lincoln will enthrall those who are interested in this dramatic, amazing time in US history. Yet it's not a war movie, it's a look at Lincoln the Man and how he navigates his role as US President, masterfully.

Daniel Day Lewis is wonderful as Lincoln. For an Englishman to play Lincoln so masterfully, he deserves the Oscar for Best Actor. The look and feel of the movie is amazing. You believe that you're in a time machine and that you're really THERE, in Washington, in 1865. The portrayal of Lincoln's political infighting with an entrenched and arrogant Congress to get the 13th Amendment passed, is intriguing and intelligent. Day inspires as Lincoln throughout. One really gets the feeling of a storm of swirling voices in a desperate time of war, crying to be heard and followed, while Lincoln is the Man of his time, calmly staying strong and resolute in the midst of this chaos and grinding out his policies. If Lincoln hadn't show great Leadership and pushed the 13th Amendment at the time he did, who knows when the country would have gotten up the courage to abolish slavery again?

The secondary performances are great, including Sally Fields as Mary Todd Lincoln, Tommy Lee Jones as the Abolitionist Congressman Stevens, James Spader as a shifty Republican operative, David Strathairn as Secretary of State Seward, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Robert Lincoln. Fields in particular played a very difficult role (of the suffering and neurotic Mary Todd) very well. ALL the performances were so well played -- like I said -- you think that you're really there in 1865.

Lincoln, the movie, doesn't pull punches. I hope that the producers made sure that they researched their material well and stayed true to the facts, because it makes SUCH an impact. Film-goers who always thought that the Democrats were for freeing the slaves will be surprised to find this truth out: Demos in those days were absolutely for slavery and it fell to the Republicans (split into two camps: the Abolitionists and the Conservatives) to push the 13th Amendment through. The sentiments of the anti-13th-Amendment crowd in those days is also portrayed with shocking candor. Racial fear and hatred is expressed openly in the movie. It's hard to swallow at times: was this really the mood of the people, or was this played up by Spielberg artificially? Let the viewer watch it and decide! I'm personally going to read more first-person accounts of that time of history.

I have a few "small" criticisms of the movie: some of the scenes where citizens seem to me to be insolent in front of the President were hard to take. (An opening scene with some soldiers talking to Lincoln in a very familiar and non-respectful way; a scene where Lincoln bursts in upon a lobbyist who exclaims, "Well I'll be F****ed!") I would think that coming before the President would cause 99.9% to be utterly respectfull if not petrified! Also, the opening scene of black Union soldiers hand-fighting & killing Confederates up close & personnal, is disturbing for those not thick-skinned. I'm really not sure that that scene needed to be in there as it was. But if the viewer can suffer these small annoyances and look at the overall magnificence of this film, I believe that he/she will be impressed with Lincoln's intelligence, power, realism and emotional impact.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 25, 2013 12:40:23 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 25, 2013 12:48:20 PM PDT
by says:
Scenes like that are probably political correctness trash. I just can't imagine ANY movie with this format aspect ratio...it's got to be right up there with peeping out through the window blinds...Grandma would have loved it. Based upon Ridge's excellent review...I think that I'll pass on this latest Hollywood work of 'art'.
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