Daniel Day-Lewis gives one of the finest performances ever captured on film in Steven Spielberg’s exceptional LINCOLN. Not only is the film thoroughly engaging from start to finish but also it showcases an important and pivotal moment in US history that deserves the meticulous attention that this lavish production affords it.
Instead of giving us a run of the mill biopic, LINCOLN chooses to focus on the President’s final months in office and his struggle to pass the unpopular 16th Amendment to the Constitution, which would abolish slavery once and for all. Furthering to hamper its chances of passing is the continuing Civil War that has divided the nation in more ways than one. With so many opposing the Amendment for political reasons, Lincoln has chosen to move ahead with the vote deciding that the only way for our country to move forward is to remove this stain that goes against everything the United States was created for.
At 2½ hours long, the movie moves at a perfect pace and is never anything but riveting and even though the outcome of the vote is etched in time, Spielberg so deftly handles the material, that its eventual ratification is still a nailbiter.
The cast includes so many standout performances including Tommy Lee Jones as Thaddeus Stevens, Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln and a scene stealing James Spader as W.N. Bilbo. As I mentioned before Daniel Day-Lewis gives the performance of a lifetime. Richly deserving (and earning) The Academy Award for Best Actor, I was blown away by his portrayal. The only way to describe it is that he 100% inhabits the role. There is no trace of Day-Lewis, you feel as if you are watching Abraham Lincoln somehow transported from history to play himself in a film. His performance is the film.
A masterpiece by all standards, LINCOLN is a MUST SEE MOVIE showcasing an important chapter in political history that even after almost 150 years, feels relevant today.