Steven Spielberg has a very definitive way of storytelling. He not only displays the wonder and imagination that partakes in his movies, but he demonstrates the complexities of his characters and how they relate to real life situations or people. This can be seen through his new historical/political biopic Lincoln. It’s the story of the famous 16th US president who sought to abolish slavery and end the Civil War simultaneously. Performed brilliantly by Daniel Day-Lewis, we see Lincoln as a whole ‘nother person, not just as a president. Day-Lewis’ outstanding acting and similar physicality embodies and almost revitalizes Abe Lincoln’s image, as he speaks in a gentle voice, laughs with a keen sense of humor, and triumphs with a groundbreaking ability to conquer the country’s and his own demons. Lincoln also shows that Abe had to literally lie for the greater good of helping the nation conquer segregation and inequality. He sent out patrons to convince, and even bribe, congressmen to vote for abolishing slavery. It might desecrate Abe Lincoln’s moral and ethical ideal as a president and person, but it also shows that he was relentlessly passionate and hopeful. Although slow at moments and lacking a consistent continuity, Lincoln is a intricately detailed view on the inspirational president. Lincoln also includes a star-studded cast, with earnest performances from Sally Field as the emotionally unstable Mary Todd Lincoln, Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Lincoln’s son, and Tommy Lee Jones as Thaddeus Stevens, who also played a big part in getting the 13th amendment passed. Even though critics have said Lincoln is an outstanding film, it’s not exactly the best of the Spielberg movies. In fact, it’s slightly disappointing, with its so-so presentation, lengthiness, and lack of initial intrigue. It takes a certain moviegoer, particularly a lover of political dramas, period movies, or presidential biopics, to really appreciate Lincoln. But it might not pertain the same way for the rest of moviegoers. But despite all that, Spielberg’s striking imagery, endearing message, and evocative direction never wavers and Lincoln is one (somewhat) triumphant example of his work.

Grade: B
Recommended: Maybe
Oscar Nomination: Yes (but Oscar Win? Not sure)   


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