Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Lincoln, a Movie Review
By your popcorn and get comfortable because Lincoln is a long movie, 150 minutes. But, it is time well spent. Spielberg does a masterful job directing Daniel Day-Lewis as Lincoln based on Doris Kearns Goodwin's book Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln.
The story is powerful and well cast with Sally Field playing the part of Mary Todd Lincoln, the president's wife who was known to be on the edge of hysteria at times. Tommy Lee Jones is cast in the role of Thaddeus Stephens, a Congressman, who spent his political life fighting for the abolishment of slavery. Then there is James Strader who plays the sleazy vote buyer.
The movie covers Lincoln's final months in office and his struggle to pass the 13th amendment, the end of slavery. The war is still going on, though close to its bitter end, and at times it seems Lincoln must choose between an early peace or the passage of his amendment. The story shows the torment of the members of congress as they face an internal fight between a moral right and political survival.
We all know the end, no spoiler here - it is the journey that makes the movie so good. Perhaps we can appreciate President Lincoln even more when we see how much he fought to get his Emancipation Proclamation, an executive order he alone issued, turned into a constitutional amendment that was up to congress and ultimately the American people.
Needless to say, I highly recommend the movie.