[Jason Dent/Unsplash]

Lincoln

00:00 November 20, 2012
By: David Vicari

The majority of Steven Spielberg's historical drama, Lincoln, centers around President Abraham as he attempts to get the 13th Amendment - the abolishment of slavery - passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. This plays like a intricate, yet entertaining political game of chess.

Daniel Day-Lewis is excellent as Lincoln, delivering a performance of gentle strength. Also noteworthy are Tommy Lee Jones, as outspoken abolitionist Thaddeus Stevens, and James Spader, as one of the President's chief negotiators. The movie falters when it tries to rush through Lincoln's family conflicts with his wife (Sally Field) and oldest son (Joseph Gordon-Levitt). It's also kind of bothersome when the film consciously underlines the "Oscar clip" moments as the John Williams music swells as someone delivers an important and heart-felt speech. I think those scenes would have played better without a score. Just let it play out quietly. Still, Spielberg's Lincoln is a fine history lesson that isn't dull, and would actually be a nice companion piece to John Ford's Young Mr. Lincoln (1939).

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