This very adult movie is tailor made for history heads and political junkies but it may be too talky and dry for some
Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” is not a biopic. It’s a look at just the last days of the life of Abraham Lincoln and more than anything else, an intricate examination of the politics of its time , as the President fights to pass a constitutional amendment outlawing slavery. Daniel Day-Lewis’s Lincoln is a warm, very kind funny storyteller.
Daniel Day-Lewis is the best reason to see this film. He’s like no other. It’s hard to believe Liam Neeson was originally considered when Day-Lewis initially passed on the lead, though in all honesty, Neeson looks more like the 16th president. But Day-Lewis brings the legendary , heroic president to life. Sally Field is a good fit as Mary Todd Lincoln, tough she actually looks older and more weary than her husband. It’s a refreshing insight into a long marriage under impossible pressures.
As good as Daniel Day-Lewis is, Tommy Lee Jones is the scene-stealer as a calls-it-exactly-how-he-sees it abolitionist congressman . I had to do a double take to recognize a puffy-faced James Spaeder. David Strathairn, Hal Holboork, Tim Blake Nelson, John Hawkes and Joseph Gordon-Levitt are among the awful-facial-haired intriguing personalities. More fascinating is how little politics has changed in close to 150 years .
With 90% talk and 10% action, this one may be challenged to find its limited audience, despite the impeccable acting.