It might have a predictable plot and a calculable cast and director to boot, but Lincoln is ripe with outstanding visuals and dazzling acting. Every last detail is planned and constructed with historical accuracy, most importantly, the performances. Steven Spielberg was uncompromising in his choice to portray Lincoln and rightfully so. Spielberg’s rigorous efforts to secure Daniel Day-Lewis for the role of Lincoln didn’t need any explanation and if it did, Lewis’s representation speaks for itself. Also featuring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tommy Lee Jones, Sally Field, and an accomplished supporting cast, Lincoln doesn’t lack in any aspect. The runtime, paced demeanour, and extended monologues are discouraging at times, but Spielberg and Lewis form a formidable duo that is near impossible to rival.
In the year 1865, the American Civil War rages on as the U.S president Abraham Lincoln (Day-Lewis) continues his efforts to abolish slavery. Lincoln must accomplish his mission swiftly as the war may end at any time and if peace is at hand, the returning southern states will stop his attempts to rid the United States of slavery. Abraham Lincoln uses any means possible to obtain enough votes to secure the banishment of owning slaves. However, Lincoln faces his own conundrum, end the war and save lives, or end slavery.
It appears that the only difference in the historical films released in 2012 is the directors. Imagine for a moment if Tarantino had gotten hold of Lincoln, or if Spielberg took the reigns of Zero Dark Thirty. Arguably, all three are very similar at their cores, it’s just the specific tastes and talents of the director that has separated them. Now, putting direction aside, simply put, Lincoln has a dream team both on and off screen, there is no debating that. There might be certain elements of the film that some will argue could have been handled better, but its incessantly hard to dispute a group as skillful and talented as Lincoln’s. It’s kind of like telling God how to create, it’s a battle you’re just not going to win. Lincoln’s personnel perfections aside, the film deserves its merit. Similar to Zero Dark Thirty, Lincoln is a dramatization of history and facts. The difficulty that comes with putting a fresh, new twist on a event or figure that has been read and repeated for numerous years is exasperating. However, again like Zero Dark Thirty, Lincoln thrives under pressure and is a magnificent feature. Lincoln’s ferocious bid for flawless might fall just inches short, but several Oscar nominations and wins is additional proof that Lincoln is a must see.
Lincoln: 8.5 out of 10.