Multiple : USA : Rated - PG13 : Running Time - 150 mins
This film, much like the eponymous main character, needs no introduction. It follows arguably the greatest American President, through his greatest achievements, during the last months of his life. One of the great American directors, assembled a cast of brilliant actors and made a film that was well...great.
The film takes a very close examination of the process surrounding the passage of the thirteenth amendment to the Constitution. We as an audience are the better for it, as we are introduced to a band of lesser known historical figures, all of which play important roles in their own right. The film truly triumphs by showcasing the political climate of the time and presenting arguments just as valid today as they were back then. Where many other films based on true events fail, (I'm looking at you Argo) by not creating enough tension for an outcome the audience is already aware of, Lincoln thrives by focusing on the impact the ultimate decision will have on the country as a whole as well as on a personal level with the individuals involved. Thus raising the stakes and providing more depth to the story.
The brilliance of the cast begins and ends with one man, Daniel Day-Lewis. He brings incredible humanity to a man who most of us have only experienced as a marble statue or quite possibly through Henry Fonda's performance in "Young Mr. Lincoln" (1939). In my opinion, Lewis should secure his third Oscar, placing him above all other males in history. Sally Field is a tenacious Mary Todd Lincoln and Tommy Lee Jones is a true force as Thaddeus Stevens, a fiery representative pushing for the abolition of slavery. David Strathairn makes yet another solid case for being the best supporting character actor of all time as Secretary of State William Seward. The backbone of the political gamesmanship comes from three characters played expertly by James Spader, John Hawkes and Tim Blake Nelson.
Lincoln is an entertaining history lesson, that showcases professional film making as well as acting.
Snobby Art House Rating - A