Friday, November 9, 2012

Lincoln Review - 4 Stars

Oscar season gets a jump start with the release of Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln”—starring two time Academy Award winner Daniel Day Lewis as the iconic President.  The great thing to me about “Lincoln” is the manner in which it humanizes the President.  He speaks slowly and takes his time telling hilarious stories.  He’s also street smart in follows his vision of a 13th amendment to the constitution abolishing slavery, a goal he feels he must reach before the South can surrender and rejoin the Union.  Watching “Lincoln” as he threads this needle through a reluctant House of Representatives has a contemporary feel.  This episode of history springs from Doris Kearns Goodwin’s “Team of Rivals” and opens our eyes to the always present necessity of back room politics.  Notable among the cast, Sally Field has mighty scenes as Mary Todd Lincoln and Tommy Lee Jones adds flavor as Congressman Thaddeus Stevens.  I have a feeling you will hear these names when the Academy nominations arrive in January.  Also worth noting, James Spader, John Hawkes, and Tim Blake Nelson as back room dealers and fixers whose  horse trading makes history possible.  “Lincoln” has power, the weight of history, an interesting story, and superb acting, as well as make up so good  you forget the actors and throw yourself into the story.  (I think I’ve seen way too many historical dramas where we see an actor with a fake beard looking ridiculous.)  Put “Lincoln” on your must see list.  Does it deliver what it promises?  Grand historic drama.  Is it entertaining?  Fascinating to watch.  Is it worth the price of admission?  A must see.