innovativecommunciations.tv If you’re really into history, you should love the new film “Lincoln”. If history put you to sleep during school, you’ll probably still love “Lincoln”. I’m Keith Kelly. My review is coming up right now.
Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” pulls off a very tricky feat. First off, it helps makes American history from the later 1800’s relevant, and second, it fully brings to life a historical figure that has almost become a caricature and less than human.
Lets start with the history part. See if this sounds relevant: We’ve got a recently reelected President of a divided country that is equally loved and hated. Our government representatives from each side can’t find common ground on anything. Even many representatives from the President’s own party would rather look after their own interests than stick their necks out for what is right.
It’s a little scary how many parallels there are.
In the midst of all this, we meet a president we all THOUGHT we knew, as his image has been plastered on everything from our currency, to license plates, to TV commercials pushing President’s day sales. Heck, he even fought bad guys in an old episode of Star Trek. But this Lincoln is different. He is a real man, with real convictions and problems, and you feel the weight of the world on his shoulders.
Daniel Day Lewis knocks it out of the park in his portrayal of our 16th President. This is a nuanced performance, brimming with a haunted humanity that brings out the many-layered aspects of one of our greatest presidents. He is part country lawyer, part inspiring public speaker, and also grief stricken husband and father. This is a leader with deep convictions, willing to do what he must for the betterment of the country-no matter his personal sacrifice.
I can’t go on enough about his performance. There is a haunted look behind his eyes-yet also a twinkle and spark there that lights up his face. You can also see the thought process behind each of his actions-he wonderfully, yet subtly externalizes his internal struggles. He can also be disarmingly funny. His voice and accent are shocking at first. It’s not a powerful bass voice-but high and reedy. It has a touch of country to it. Yet, it not only is authentic, with Daniel Day Lewis working off written accounts and descriptions of Lincoln’s voice-but also very fitting. The more you get to know this Lincoln-the more the voice fits the man.
I also love how Spielberg decided to narrow the scope of this film. It’s not the typical birth to death biography-but instead is a small slice of Lincoln’s life as he tries desperately to pass the 13th Amendment to end slavery. By narrowing the focus, this film manages to tell volumes.
Tommy Lee Jones is almost over the top in his performance as a leader in the fight to abolish slavery-but his intensity works, especially in some of the later moments of the movie.
Sally Field is also very strong as the grieving mother who has to reluctantly share her husband with the world. She’s fierce and protective. Most of the supporting characters, including Jones and Field are larger than life-yet I still believed them all. Their largeness helped further showcase the isolation of Mr. Lincoln and the enormity of his task.
“Lincoln” is not a black and white portrait-nobody’s perfect-including the President. But this film shares the promise that we can still do great things in this country, despite the frailties and problems inherent in politics and in the imperfections of human beings. “Lincoln” shows that despite all odds one man can make a difference.
“Lincoln”, with its strong story, visual mastery, superb acting and attention to detail earns it a grade of “A+”. I’m Keith Kelly.
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