Monday, December 3, 2012

Lincoln Movie Review

I recommend the movie, it is well done.  It is not flawless, especially Spielberg and Kushner's unnecessary dialog between Lincoln and some soldiers and fictional individuals.  It was Spielberg and Kushner trying to make a point, but the dialog was out of place for the era and was distracting.

In his defense Spielberg said this:  
“It’s a betrayal of the job of the historian,” he asserted, to explore the unknown. But it is the job of the filmmaker to use creative “imagination” to recover what is lost to memory. Unavoidably, even at its very best, “this resurrection is a fantasy ... a dream.” 
I agree that a movie maker should not be held to a documentary standard (especially since so many "documentary" film makers have no problem engaging in fantasy).  The point was attempted to be conveyed was what would the end of slavery mean to the country going forward.  But those particular scenes did not work for me.  It is not the message attempted to be conveyed, but the direction, editing, and writing I disagree with.  It was hamfisted.  It took me out of the movie, so it did not work.

But in showing how the 13th Amendment was passed and the behind the scenes arm twisting, bribes and gamesmanship going on, the movie was well done.  Spielberg and Kushner's pacing seemed rushed and some more time may have helped (which is why some scenes mentioned above should have been cut).  Still, Daniel Day Lewis becomes Abraham Lincoln.  And Lewis is fortunate to have some great actors supporting and playing against him.  Sally Fields as Mary Todd Lincoln and James Spader at W.N. Bilbo especially stand out.  The movie also does a very good job in showing the complex and grief stricken relationship of Todd and Lincoln (and credit to that goes to the writer, director and actors involved in making those scenes work).  


  1. Did you see Obama in DDL's performance: link?

    1. Well take away the intelligence, principle and moral steadfastness and keep the corruption and patronage of the day and I suppose you could say Obama does have something in common with Lincoln.


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