In Theaters Now: Speilberg’s Lincoln

  • 11/30/2012
  • Terelle Jerricks


By B. Noel Barr

  • Director: Steven Spielberg
  • Leading Actors:Daniel Day Lewis, Sally Field, Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Steven Spielberg is responsible for some of the greatest films of all time. His eye for telling a story visually is without question the best. His historically based films like Saving Private Ryan, Amistad, and Shindler’s List, are epic films in their own right. Here comes Lincoln, which stands to be the best picture of the year.

Daniel Day Lewis’s performance as an actor redefines how we look at Lincoln. This is very different from the Lincoln played by Raymond Massey in the actor’s academy award nominated role in Abe Lincoln in Illinois. Henry Fonda had a go at Lincoln in the 1939 picture Young Mr. Lincoln. There have many others who have played the role. None will own this historical character like Daniel Day-Lewis.

Lewis lives and embodies the deeply troubled 16th president during a time when he could have mollified his critics by not amending the constitution. Instead, Lincoln forges ahead to clarify the Emancipation Proclamation by freeing the nearly 4 million plus slaves in 1863. With the 13th amendment in 1865, he stated that all men are equal under the law and slavery would end.

It would take another 99 years for black voting rights would be fully protected, a result of Lyndon Johnson signing the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Amplifying the rights of the individual and protecting persons of any race, creed, or color from discrimination of any kind. However, amazingly today we still fight for these rights.

What our national understanding of Lincoln during this pivotal time in American history is looked with an almost saint like quality. Daniel Day- Lewis shows a man of flaws and questions, and who has found a way to galvanize the nation into a country built under God’s laws of equality. Not in the sense of church over state, but that we are equals under God.

Sally Field as Mary Lincoln, played the greatest role of her life. It is on par with her academy award winning role as Norma Rae. Joseph Gordon-Levitt who is known for his work in televisions 3rd Rock from the Sun and his various supporting roles has made an in demand-leading actor. In Lincoln, he takes a supporting role as Robert Lincoln, son of the 16th president. His character is the desire of a son to do what he feels is right, despite the feeling of Mary (Sally Field) Lincoln, and his father’s (Daniel Day-Lewis) desire to keep his son from harms way.

Tommy Lee Jones is among the many character actors that breathes life into history. Every single person who worked on this film demonstrated a true labor love in making this as real and believable as possible.

Lincoln is the 1st of the holiday season movies leading up to the time for academy awards that has a chance of sweeping the awards.

This to me is one of the greatest films made to date of its kind. It should be compared faithfully to movies like Inherit the Wind, or the more contemporary Saving Private Ryan. This is a film that should be seen by all.

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