When focusing on the nation’s greatest president during its darkest time, a filmmaker has to tread carefully. Their work can either blow you away or turn into a dull history lesson. Luckily, Lincoln is the former. Steven Spielberg delivers what’s easily one of the best movies of the year.
- Director: Steven Spielberg
- Writers: Tony Kushner
- Cast: Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, David Strathairn, Tommy Lee Jones, James Spader, Joseph Gordon-Levitt,
- Cinematography by: Janusz Kaminski
- Original Music by: John Williams
During the final months of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln (Day-Lewis) strives to ultimately abolish slavery. Between that and trying to broker peace, he falls into the most difficult point of his second term.
- Daniel Day-Lewis (Naturally): When the first images of Day-Lewis as Lincoln were released, people were already screaming,”Give him an Oscar nomination!” After seeing how he turns a legend, an icon, into a tangible human being, we want to hand him the award now. Not only does he add depth to Lincoln but he shows how flawed he was as a person. He was just like the rest of us. Yes, that’s due to the script but what Day-Lewis conveys is just as amazing.
- Scene-Stealing Tommy Lee Jones and James Spader: You can’t help but notice these actors. Jones and Spader are, dare we say, the funnier parts of Lincoln. That may sound a bit odd, but hear us out. When you have such an overly dramatic story about slavery and war, it’s nice to have some lighter moments. They’re also pivotal in making sure the amendment passes. We loved watching them go.
- The Rest of the Cast: Oh who are we kidding, there isn’t a dull performance in the whole picture. We want to give another acting nod to Sally Field who knocks it out of the park as the complicated and compassionate Mary Todd Lincoln.
- Story Doesn’t Miss a Beat: There’s not a boring moment nor a sudden lapse in the story. We’re equally as engaged with the ins and outs of politicians (trying to pass the amendment) as we are with Abraham and Mary Todd’s personal lives. Everything onscreen serves a purpose and gives us a greater look into the life of our nation’s finest president.
- Graceful Spielberg: Spielberg’s been known as a master craftsman when it comes to filmmaking. After his work on Lincoln, it’s no question that he’s had it, still has it, and will always have it. He takes the audience by the hand and leads them through the film’s world. Lincoln flows perfectly and deals with such hard-hitting topics in a graceful manner. It’s easy to sing its praises.
- The Score: While we adore composer John Williams, the music isn’t as mesmerizing as his previous works. At times, it comes off as too loud, or too over-the-top when needed. Still, it serves as a decent platform to get audiences swept up in the moment.
Lincoln reminds us of how far we’ve come since the tragic days of the Civil War. You can’t help but feel patriotic to your very core after watching this. Bravo Mr. Spielberg.
The Rating: 9.5/10
Lincoln opens in limited theaters November 9.
Will you be seeing Lincoln this weekend?