My Lincoln Movie Review
I just returned from the movie theater and feel obliged to share a few words about the Stephen Spielberg‘s Lincoln, of which I just spent the past 2.5 hours watching, enjoying and now sharing that it is indeed, worthy of praise.
Lincoln long has been one of my favorite presidents. Never will the barber my mom used to take us to on Route 51 in Hobart, IN, circa 1970 likely ever forget, nor shall my mother, the moment I asked if he could fashion my hair in such a way as to make the part go in the other direction so it would mirror that of our nation’s 16th president. (I was five at the time.)
In the 1990s, Gov. Fob James of Alabama, whom I had the privilege of working with, was a student of Lincoln and his ways. Gov. James even used the theme of “A New Birth Of Freedom” from the Gettysburg Address, as the theme for his 1994 inaugural.
I say all that to suggest I know a little about Mr. Lincoln.
Or so I thought until I saw him personified in this movie.
We never shall know how Mr. Lincoln’s voice truly sounded, but after seeing this movie, I should like for it to never have sounded any different than that of Daniel Day-Lewis‘. And to the credit of Spielberg, this isn’t one of those movies of the Civil War era where Hollywood theatrics have damaged the flow of the film with bad ridiculous Southern enunciation, and obviously glued on beards and such as that awful Gettysburg film Turner Productions did back in the 1990s.
No, this is the real deal.
Day-Lewis brings Lincoln back to life in a way that probably hasn’t been done since he walked this earth among our forefathers. From the iconic hat where it is suggested Lincoln kept notes for speeches, to the tall stature, to the stoic poses and even sleeping in his chair while considering a message to telegraph to Gen. U.S. Grant, you feel like you’re getting to know the depth and weight of the troubles this president knew as he worked so hard to hold this nation together.
From the moment this film begins, you feel like you are in DC in the midst of Lincoln’s second term.
Sally Field plays Mary Lincoln so very well. She looks like every photo I’ve ever seen of her. There’s one scene where she and Tommy Lee Jones go back and forth where I began to wonder what it was about, but it was to help add some strength to the story of the role this First Lady played in our nation’s history as well.
Jared Harris from Mad Men fame leaves me thinking I am watching Gen. Grant as he meets with the president, and as he bids farewell to Gen. Robert E. Lee at Appomattox.
The lighting, costuming, and mood are all right.
Go See This Film
- If you’re a history buff.
- If you want to have a deeper understanding and appreciation for the spirit of what this nation was intended to be, and seems to have drifted so far afoul from.
- If you want a taste for lobbying in the 1860s to pass the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, around which most of the plot of the movie centers.
- If you want to have a taste for what this country once endured so that we might all be here to celebrate it today.
This film isn’t going to keep up with Twilight Breaking Dawn, or the new Bond movie at the box office. No, those are films for the “47 percent.” This is a film for those who have a more mature understanding of what the American Dream once was; something worth fighting for, something worth risking everything to save it all. Teens won’t sit through this movie, and most likely, your date won’t either. This is a movie where you need to take your brain, your love for America, and be proud to walk out of the theater at the end celebrating a the new birth of freedom we all were given because of a president like Abe Lincoln.