Saturday, February 16, 2013


Lincoln – 150min – PG-13

Some movies are made in such a way that the only appropriate description is "epic". This is one of those films. This movie takes a look at a specific point in President Lincoln’s life toward the end of the war and the beginning of a new way of life for all of us. Lincoln’s impact on our history can’t be disputed. This movie takes you through that pivotal turning point for our country. It really speaks volumes to the filmmaker who can take a historical event and make it engaging and suspenseful. The performances were outstanding and I was completely entertained through the entire film. This movie gets a green light from me. I am also pleased to say that not one vampire was seen in this movie.

President Lincoln,(Daniel Day-Lewis) is trying to pass the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution which would formally abolish all slavery in the country. He is trying to use the war as a selling point to the population. His Secretary of State, William Seward,(David Strathairn) warns that if the war ends, this legislation will not pass because the people are not behind it. They decide to use help from some vote hunters. They employ Robert Latham, Richard Shell and W.N. Bilbo (John Hawkes, Tim Blake Nelson and James Spader). They must use any means short of bribery to get the votes needed to pass this through Congress. Politics is not the only battle that the President has to deal with; he also has to manage his family. His son, Robert (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), wants to serve his country and join the Army. The President has to balance his son’s desire to grow up and be a man with the fears of his wife (Sally Field) at losing another child. They really added a depth to this historical figure by showing us the wonderful relationship he had with his youngest son (Gulliver McGrath).

Historical movies have their own spoilers written into every American history book. Unless you are going to play fast and loose with the facts you are never going to surprise someone about the outcome of your movie. Steven Spielberg is a master storyteller in as much as he made the vote a nerve-wracking event. I had a moment when I was unsure if they would get the votes needed. Even though I knew the outcome when I went into the theater, they made me fidget because it was a close vote. Well done sir, well done.

Some other really noteworthy performances are Tommy Lee Jones as Thaddeus Stevens, the Republican who was outspoken about his anti-Slavery beliefs. His performance of a man who “would say anything” to get his legislation passed is exceptional.

This movie does make me think of where the Republican Party went astray, I was surprised at how much of a contrast in views the Republican Party of this time is with today’s version of itself. I am not going to get deep into politics here, but I am looking at a party that fought hard for the belief in equality of all men before their creator. Where are they now?

Warning Spoilers!!!!!! Only if you Vote YEA to this movie click on this link!!!!!!!!

I really only have one spoiler that I wanted to talk about. In the previous Lincoln movie, I really wanted the President to go to the theater. I was hoping that the theater was the next thing we would see, but this version I really was dreading the inevitable. I did not want to see this President die. Spielberg is marvelous at manipulating the emotions of the viewer. We do not see the assassination. We see the announcement and the reaction from his youngest son. That scene was way more heartbreaking than having to watch the event itself. Again, well done sir, well done.

The other point that was made by Rich, my brother in-law, is that they could have ended the movie with The President walking away and fade to black and it would have still been just as powerful an ending. I agree, the rest of the ending could have been skipped. It was well done but not needed. We all know what happened.

What historical event should Mr. Spielberg bring to life next?

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