Thursday, November 29, 2012


The main problem with doing a film about history is that most of the time they end up being history lessons performed by actors. There aren't many films that stay true to the facts and keep their audiences captivated.

Graciously, Steven Spielberg's Lincoln does that very thing. (Thank God too.) He doesn't play the sentiment card like he did with Schindler's List nor does he brutalize the facts as Munich so vividly displays. Lincoln instead plays by the book (well, Doris Kearns Goodwin's book Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln) and follows the rules.

Apparently one of the key aspects of any history-based film is that you need a cast like no other. Among the huge (and I do mean huge) cast for Lincoln, the names include Sally Field, David Strathairn, Tommy Lee Jones, Hal Holbrook, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, James Spader, John Hawkes, Tim Blake Nelson, Jackie Earle Haley, Lee Pace, Bruce McGill, Jared Harris and Michael Stuhlbarg. And those are just the supporting actors.

The film unsurprisingly belongs to Daniel Day-Lewis. Like so many of his other performances, the perception of him simply acting vanishes the moment we first see him in action. Suffice to say he'll get some serious recognition when the time comes. (On that note, has any of his performances not been nominated for anything?)

In toll, Lincoln is great. Personally I'm grateful Spielberg didn't make this an overly sentimental film. (If he did, this review wouldn't be as glowing.) It may not be the kind of film for everyone, but I certainly loved it.

My Rating: *****

1 comment:

  1. Glad to read you loved it, I'm gonna have to see this one! The cast looks amazing.


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