Movie Review: 'Lincoln,' Movie of the Year

self professed, long time, new movie-holic

A few weeks ago, I shared that I had just seen the movie of the year — "ARGO." It was a slam dunk in my mind.

Fast forward to three weeks later, I never go see a movie twice. I've seen "Lincoln" twice in three days. Sorry Argo, it is not even close.

"Lincoln" is not only the best movie of the year. It is the most important. It is so ridiculously good, so well cast and so brilliantly adapted from the incredible Doris Kearns Goodwin's biography (she is the best).

Folks, this movie is utterly brilliant if one has any interest in American history. I must have slept through social studies. I was shocked to learn that Lincoln was a Republican and it was "his party" who wanted to free the slaves, not the Democrats.

It was amazing that the creation of the 13th amendment (to end slavery), the end of the brutal Civil War (over 600,000 Americans killed), and the assassination of Lincoln all occurred within 30 days of each other.

First of all the acting/casting was iconic. I'm not sure there has ever been a better portrayal of any real person that Daniel Day-Lewis's "Lincoln."

The walk, the gait, the demeanor, the speaking style, the everything was just as we would have imagined, and funny!

But what a heart, what vision, what a sense of history and seizing the moment and the political winds at the same time being this stoic and exceptionally caring person, president and father (and also husband).

There is NO WAY this doesn't get best picture and best actor Oscar this year. And folks, Tommy Lee Jones' portrayal of Thaddeus Stevens is spectacular. He should easily get a best supporting actor nomination. You can add to this category Hal Holbrook as well as James Spader (who brings back the spirit of his great Boston Legal role).

On the female side, Sally Field dominates the screen. Our own Sister Bertrille (Flying Nun) is an incredible Mary Todd Lincoln and will for sure get an Oscar nomination (if not a victory as well).

Add in this film was directed by Steven Spielberg and produced by Kathleen Kennedy, and you have a movie for the ages.

To me, the film "Life is Beautiful" was to me the best film I ever saw by far that tied in with history. "Lincoln,"however, stands by itself unlike any other.

Both times I saw the film, the audience was pretty much like me. White and 50+. I really hope the African American community discovers this film. It is so historically important.

Last thing, when I walked out of the 2nd show, I overheard a man say to the group he was with "and we think we have it hard today." That was very profound.

Go see this film and think about this Civil War in our own back yard, four bloody years.

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Kyra November 28, 2012 at 04:48 PM
Thank you David for your enthusiastic review. I will see the movie this weekend. Can't wait! Kyra Becker
Martin B. Brilliant November 28, 2012 at 08:36 PM
Yes, the Democrats did not free the slaves. If you were as old as I am, you would remember the "Solid South." Because the Republicans freed the slaves, the South voted solidly Democratic right up until the civil rights movement of the 1960s.
George Clark November 28, 2012 at 09:22 PM
yes, i think it's funny people are so loyal to their parties most don't even know that the parties have completely swapped ideologies and i don't think that happened in the 1960s but more like the 1890s but that's just a guess. the gop and dems changed their names to protect the guilty I suppose.
Slippery Slope November 28, 2012 at 09:55 PM
@George Clark,,,,Al Gore's father was a US senator that voted AGAINST the civil rights act., while George Bush father voted for the civil rights act. To this day the democrat party is intent on keeping blacks dependent on the government. That was Obamas entire campaign message. Free housing, free food, free medicine, free transportation. All provided you keep in line and keep doing what the democrat in charge tells you to do.
George Clark November 28, 2012 at 10:34 PM
slippery, lincoln freed the slaves so north whites wouldn't have to be slaves to owners up here. now with global free market we've all become slaves again to plantation owners. i am not a democrat nor do I care what others call me or themselves. we are all slaves to somebody less you think your free and independent. we are being fleeced by both parties and the power$ that own them. can't you see almost all senators and heads of state are related to each other and inherit the power their fathers had? there is no democracy with this system. we must all free ourselves of this system. it's never gonna work. that's been proven for 4000 years now. absolute power corrupts absolutely.
tuna stick November 28, 2012 at 11:03 PM
Well said George, and do yourself a favor and do not reply Slippery Slope. He"s showing up for a gun fight with a knife.
Slippery Slope November 28, 2012 at 11:11 PM
Ok Fish Stick
Mike Sockol November 28, 2012 at 11:13 PM
It will give me great pleasure tonight to vote in support of a planned field trip by Satz students to see this film. It was terrific. Another example of how history is often better than fiction. Saw the film with my family over the Thanksgiving break and my Mom cried when Lincoln died.
Mickey Brewster November 28, 2012 at 11:36 PM
Before going to see it I was afraid Lincoln would be "Spielbergized". I couldn't have been more wrong. While I was familiar with the subject matter it was really pretty neat to see the fight for The Emacipation Proclamation. Politics has never been a "clean" game and I felt the movie showed it without becoming to Pollyanna and preachy. As for Daniel Day Lewis, he is simply the finest actor ever. His portrayal of one of my biggest heroes was a revelation. It didn't make you want to jump out of your seat in applause at the end of the movie, but it was just perfect. This portrayal transcended just somebody playing Lincoln. I knew what Lincoln had to do to get the Proclamation passed, but Mr Day Lewis did it with such understated honesty & intelligence how could anyone say no to him? Exactly as Lincoln was. This movie should be required viewing for every school from Intermediate up. It should also be required viewing for Congress. An example of a time when people did what was needed to get the job done.
Slippery Slope November 28, 2012 at 11:39 PM
Lincoln dies? Thanks for spoiling the movie for the rest of us.
DAM November 29, 2012 at 01:27 AM
The Emancipation Proclamation was a wartime effort by Lincoln as Commander-in- Chief, and NOT a legislative accomplishment ... When the war ended, there was no guarantee that its validity would continue, and that Dred Scott v. Sanford would not once again be "the law of the land" ... The 13th Amendment provided a lasting constitutional guarantee that slavery in America was indeed over, forever.
KC November 29, 2012 at 06:42 AM
Yes, Lincoln was a Republican and we haven't had a decent one since. lol. I enjoyed the film, and agree with the above review in large part, but would have liked to have seen more about Lincoln's early life and coming of age. I found the focus on the 13th amendment to be a somewhat myopic one. Nonetheless, Lincoln is a good film go see it. While I am posting please forgive a small deviation from topic, but why is it that the more high brow films cannot get a run in Brick Township or Toms River? I speak specifically of the current Anna Karenina which is getting rave reviews, but is not playing in any of our local theaters who seem to play to the lowest common denominator. Some of the drek that they choose over such a fine film as this really boggles the mind.
mamamea November 29, 2012 at 01:52 PM
as a a history buff, do some resource... very interesting to see how many newspaper headlines that Lincoln was part of are read they same as Bush. yet so many loved Lincoln & so many bash Bush. BTW Lincoln was NOT a very popular well liked President in his day.
KC December 03, 2012 at 06:03 AM
BTW to Lincoln lovers out there The Book by Bill O'Reilly is a great one. The book also brings out your point, mamamea about Lincoln being unpopular in his day. But then again I guess that is always true with about half of the voters. Only a few like Roosevelt and Kennedy were really loved by most of the people in their time.
Donnlee December 03, 2012 at 03:42 PM
Not just "freeing" slaves, but Sherman's March to the Sea, and carpetbaggers and such punitive measures that were hurtful upset the South (Lincoln did not favor such punitive measures after the war...but by then he was dead.)There is some commentary that Lincoln overstepped by taking away states rights and should have let the south secede, avoid the awful war, and they may have reunited again when realized it would be to their advantage in long run. Force is deadly but I suppose some make alot of money when used.
frank rizzo December 11, 2012 at 02:45 PM
slippery slope how is it you arent working for some big network sitcom with that scary genius comedy wit of yours? . please keep making more posts. my nitelite is broken and i can use your comments instead.
Andy Pat December 11, 2012 at 07:16 PM
A man from Illinois, recently re-elected President, decides to spend his political capital during the period of a lame duck congress. Hmmm, Lincoln and the 13th amendment or Obama and the fiscal cliff. Do not ignore these similarities when you see this movie. While historical in nature, it could not speak to events more current.
WMS826 December 17, 2012 at 02:40 AM
The civil war was not about slavery at all. Watch Ken Burns Civil War to dispell this myth. People opposed it, maybe Lincoln did too, but the war was not fought to free slaves, not at all. Slavery was dying off at this time and illegal in most areas. Enough with this revisionist history thing. Brazil imported more of these people than we ever did. Besides, we sure are paying for it now. Let it go and move on, every race or group was kept as slaves, the American Indians did it to other tribes. I have had enough, seccession now I say, fire on Fort Sumter again and lets end this sham goverment and start over. I am kind of glad the goverment is on the verge of collapse.
WMS826 December 17, 2012 at 02:42 AM
Your biggest hero ever, you make me sick.
Mickey Brewster December 17, 2012 at 03:08 AM
Thank you sir . The feeling is mutual.
Andy Pat December 17, 2012 at 05:48 PM
I have watched the Ken Burns doc on the Civil War numerous times. The war was not exclusively about abolition. But to say " The civil war was not about slavery at all" is not a true statement. Secession and advocating violence against the gov't is treason. And hoping for the collapse of the US gov't is downright unpatriotic and puts you in the same camp as our enemies. Good luck with the crazy talk. BTW, do you own a gun?
WMS826 December 18, 2012 at 12:44 AM
Why do you mention guns Andy, are you some right wing job. People like you scare the heck out of me.
Andy Pat December 18, 2012 at 04:58 PM
I mentioned guns because you mentioned "fire on Ft. Sumter". Sounds like a call from you for violence. I do not own a gun (but do support responsible gun ownership). I am not a " right wing job" (whatever that is). Why exactly do I scare You?
WMS826 December 20, 2012 at 10:21 PM
If you do not know what fire on fort sumter means then you should not comment about the civil war at all. Only a right wing military kook like you would bring guns into this. You scare the heck out f me.
Andy Pat December 21, 2012 at 01:55 PM
If you insist on having the last word, regardless how inaccurate those words might be: wish granted. Would love to have an intellectual dialogue but it is evident that is not possible with WM S826. Love, Left-Wing Peacenik
Doris Cauda December 24, 2012 at 12:13 AM
Bill O'Reilly's "Killing Lincoln" was the best I've ever read on the subject. However, the movie covers only a small part of Lincoln's life, getting the 13th Amendment, abolishing slavery, passed. A friend of mine saw ot first and said that nothing's changed. After I saw the movie, she's right. It's all about buying votes to get an unpopular bill passed. Obamacare is a perfedt example.


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