Friday, November 30, 2012
Biographies are nothing new to cinema, but it seems as though we are getting more and more of them lately. Last year, we had J. Edgar, this year we have Hitchcock and today's movie, Lincoln. The difference is that while most biographies tend to focus on the person's entire life, Lincoln only focuses on one section of that person's life. In this case, it's the final months of the Civil War and the passing of the 13th amendment. And really, that may be the only section of his life that you need to talk about, being that those months pretty much became his legacy. I don't really think there's a point in including a spoilers section seeing as how we already know how it all ends, but does that really lessen it's value as a movie? Of course not! We have to remember, this is Spielberg we are talking about, and a historical Spielberg film no less. So where do I start? As if it's even necessary to talk about the acting, seeing as how you've got one of the greatest actors of all time playing Lincoln, and a supporting cast that is far from forgettable too, from screen veterans like Tommy Lee Jones stealing the scenes that they are in (that Daniel Day-Lewis isn't in mind you), to the growing star Joseph Gordon-Levitt being able to hold his own on screen, which is really saying something given the rest of the cast. As for the rest of the movie, I have to say that I'm really glad that this is a PG-13 rated movie because even though I like my war movies as gritty as can be, after watching this, I really want them to show this film in schools for history classes. This film really gave us a look as to who Lincoln was as a person and how much he fought to get the 13th amendment passed and what it meant to him. Again, being that it is Daniel Day-Lewis who is playing the president, you are really able to detach him from the character and see Abraham Lincoln on the screen as opposed to some actor playing Abraham Lincoln. The best part about this characterization is that we see a lot of Lincoln's sense of humor and that, even at his most stressful moments, he was not above using a joke or anecdote to illustrate his point or calm everyone's nerves. It felt as if, even though he was fighting like hell to lead the country and bring it back together, we were reminded that Lincoln was a person first, and a politician second, which is again a notable trait about the film, because the temptation is to focus too much on the conflict rather than the person. And it is for this reason, that I said earlier that this film should be shown in schools. It's a realistic portrayal of the Civil War, it's a realistic portrayal of the time and above all, it's a realistic portrayal of one of America's greatest presidents. I might want to see this movie again.
FInal Grade: A+