Even though Steven Spielberg is regarded first and foremost as a crafter of fantasy, more and more I feel that his works of fiction are simply movies that foot the bill for his true love – history. If you know squat about American history, consider Lincoln a lesson that requires your attention.
Set at the height of the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln has motioned towards the controversial 13th Amendment to the constitution, proclaiming slavery to be abolished. However, in order to pass the law, the president will have to persuade representatives of the opposing Democratic Party to vote in its favour.
Those expecting an action packed war flick a la Saving Private Ryan shouldn’t hold their breath, this is for viewers with a penchant for drawn out historic epics with flawless craftsmanship.
The Bottom Line
Spielberg is truly in his element with Lincoln, as is the entire cast. Regardless of the heaps of money thrown into this production, what declares Lincoln as a masterpiece is undoubtedly the performances from the actors. Daniel Day-Lewis embodies the very idea of authenticity and effortlessly steals whatever scene he happens to wander into (and very likely the Oscar for best actor). Be forewarned though, with all its achievement, Lincoln is a challenge to sit through with it’s immense running time and pacing that usually dwells on an achingly slow tempo. In the end, it is rewarding enough to purchase a ticket and while I believe that the film could have excelled further as a mini-series, Lincoln should be seen on the big screen – just be sure to load up on caffeinated drinks or you might find yourself taking a snooze.