Sunday, November 18, 2012

Movie Review: Lincoln


Starring: Daniel Day-Lewis
Directed by Steven Spielberg

Distributed by Touchstone Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Dreamworks Pictures,
Participant Median and Relliance Entertainment

Theatrical Relase Date: November 9, 2012

     At the risk of sounding un-American or racist, this movie is a snoozefest.  It's a bit like looking at a 150 year old broadcast of C-SPAN.  

     The plot concerns the passage of the 13th Amendment.  That's it.  Lincoln is a recently re-elected second term President, mired in an unpopular war and fighting a partisan fight to pass the constitutional amendment which would guarantee the abolition of slavery.  The same political gridlock and Congressional shenanigans plaguing 21st Century Washington D.C. are at play here.

     Daniel Day-Lewis is absolutely incredible in his portrayal of Abraham Lincoln.  After a while, though, the masterful performance becomes lost in the story which moves at glacial speed.  Some of the other casting is a bit suspect.  This particularly applies to Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln who plays this role like the 19 the century version of Forest Gump's mother.   

    It was fun to see many familiar sights from the Richmond and Petersburg, Virginia areas where the movie was filmed.  The Virginia State Capitol is transformed into the U.S. Capitol and the old Petersburg train station is featured in several early scenes.

     This movie is about a very important historical achievement by probably our most effective and revered President.  It probably won't rate as one of Hollywood or Spielberg's greatest accomplishments because of the pacing and long tedious scenes dominated by dialogue and political rhetoric.  If you go, I'd suggest a stop at Starbuck's for a double Cafe Americano first.

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