Sunday, December 30, 2012

Movie Review of Lincoln

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, my dad took me to see Lincoln, the new movie from director Steven Spielberg about the final months of the life of Abraham Lincoln, our 16th president. Based on Doris Kearns Goodwin's book Team of Rivals, the movie follows the personal and political struggles of President Lincoln in the last months of the war in 1865 and in getting the Thirteenth Amendment passed in Congress. Both my dad and I left the movie theater amazed at what we saw, and both us believed this movie to be worth seeing in the theater - a rare compliment from us!

The plot of the movie revolves around the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment, which abolished slavery, and is possibly President Lincoln's greatest legacy to the country besides his tragic death. Overall, the movie demonstrates the personal and political dilemmas Lincoln faced towards the end of the Civil War, wondering how the war could be brought to an end but also wrestling with this son, Robert, over whether to let him enlist and dealing with the grief of his wife over the death of their other son, Willy. This movie shows the inexplicable hardships Lincoln went through as president in an uncertain time for the nation.

The acting in this movie is superb! Daniel Day-Lewis stars as Lincoln with Sally Field as his wife, Mary. Tommy Lee Jones also makes an appearance as abolitionist and Representative Thaddeus Stevens. Daniel Day-Lewis steals the show as Lincoln. I felt as if I was watching the real Lincoln himself! Day-Lewis has Lincoln down in his voice, his mannerisms, everything. He's probably the closest we'll ever get to the real person. Sally Field comes in as a close second in portraying Lincoln's wife, Mary. Both of those actors made the movie one of the highest quality films out there.

While I enjoyed this movie thoroughly, I was disappointed that the film only covers the last few months of Lincoln's life. Much of the movie revolves around political maneuverings to get the amendment passed. I would have liked to see more of how the war affected Lincoln and the nation but I can't complain too much. This movie shows the human side of Lincoln, both his amiable qualities and his flaws, his political shrewdness and his relationships to his family members. It is an enjoyable, heartbreaking film that everyone with even the slightest curiosity in history should see!


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