One of 2012's Best Offerings
JLFM - wrote on 11/28/12
There's just so much to love about Steven Spielberg's Lincoln. It's moving, it's well acted, well made, etc. In fact, it's one of the best films that 2012 has to offer. Effectively capturing the character of Lincoln, and all the surround him, this is an absolute must-see.
Lincoln mainly revolves around the 13th amendment and Lincoln's work to get it voted in. Only the final months of Lincoln's life is chronicled, but that's enough for us to experience Lincoln as not only a beloved president, but a sincere and occasionally funny man.
The film opens to the Civil War, where soldiers are fighting for their lives, and their hopes. This is scene is bloodless, but still extremely brutal, and is a big eye opener to the horrors of war. This scene is effective and powerful, like the rest of the movie.
Despite a lengthy 2 and a half hour run time, Lincoln does not test one's patience. It entertains throughout. Modern film might suggest that an audience can't sit still for half an hour without an explosion or action scene of some kind. Lincoln goes against that theory. There were no explosions that I can recall, and action is almost completely non-existent. Yet, Lincoln rarely feels dull.
Part of this comes from the marvelous acting, some from the masterful cinematography. And some of this comes from Lincoln's surprising humor. Despite what one might initially think, Lincoln is actually a quite funny movie. Witty lines pepper the film, and even some well done physical humor pops up now and then. Lincoln tells occasional jokes as well, which demonstrates Lincoln's wonderful sense of humor.
This is one of the best acted films I've ever seen. Though Daniel Day Lewis as Lincoln is getting a lot of buzz as a possible Oscar winner, I think that the rest of the cast did excellently as well, and deserve praise. Daniel Day Lewis' portrayal of Lincoln in this film is absolutely perfect. Retaining Lincoln's wit, kindness, and heart, this as close to the real thing as we'll ever get. Sally Field as Lincoln's wife, Mary, is convincing and well done. David Strathairn is excellent, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt gets a small bit as well. Tommy Lee Jones gets some of the better lines as Thaddeus Stevens, and an Oscar nominee for Best Supporting Actor is not out of the question. Gulliver McGrath as Lincoln's youngest son, Tad is sweet and sincere.
The score from John Williams is a bit underwhelming. It's still a very good score, but it's not as moving or iconic as one would expect from the master composer. It's still a fine score, with some great standout moments, but it doesn't quite live up to the standard that Williams has set for himself.
As one of the best films of 2012, Lincoln is a must-see. With superb acting, a fantastic script, witty humor, and emotional depth to spare, Lincoln is an immensely satisfying experience. Now stop reading this review and go see the movie.