Monday, 7 January 2013

Lincoln (2012)

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field & Tommy Lee Jones
''No one is loved as much as you by the people. Don't waste that power.''

It's been many, many years in the making, but in late 2012 we finally saw the release of Steven Spielberg's biopic 'Lincoln'. The film has been received, as you would expect, with acclaim from critics and an array of Oscar buzz and seven Golden Globe nominations. Spielberg had reportedly been researching this film for around 12 years, so his film must be the most comprehensive portrait of the famous U.S President, right ?

During the height of the Civil War, 'Lincoln' chronicles United States President Abraham Lincoln attempts to banish slavery, despite facing Tierney, even from those closest to him.

One of the most respectable elements of 'Lincoln', is the incredible attention to detail being portrayed by Steven Spielberg. It is very clear that Spielberg has an avid interest in the history of Lincoln and it comes across beautifully. The film also remarkably captures a different era, I have obviously never lived in that time but this film transfers me right to that time period and what I perceive it to be. The sets, the costumes and the locations were all fantastic and you can tell that there had to be countless of dedication put into them.

While I can thoroughly respect the film, I can not say that I loved it or that I was completely immersed in all of its 150 minute run time. While it is a inspiring site to see Mr Lincoln attempt to banish the horrible aspect of human slavery from society, the film seems to linger on certain details just a little too long which can make the film just that little bit tedious. I know the film can be categorized as an 'Epic' but if Spielberg around 20 minutes from the running time and got rid of a few subplots, I would have appreciated it a whole lot more. But I still cant help but admire Spielberg's incredibly ambitious approach to portraying the heroism of Lincoln.

Everywhere you look in this film, you are bound to see a great actor, the cast here is incredible. First off, I have to talk about Daniel Day-Lewis because his performance demands discussion. If anyone needed any more conformation that Day-Lewis is the finest actor of his generation, they get it here. I'm not quite sure which word I can use to describe his performance, there probably isn't just one, but I will settle on 'Perfect', I may have some issues with the film but its lead performance isn't one, Day-Lewis truly deserves all the praise that he is getting and sure he deserves the Academy Award, (I have yet to see Joaquin Phoenix in 'The Master' yet, but not from a lack of trying) This is the most enthralling and powerful performance I have seen all year, Day-Lewis brings the Lincoln I have read about back to life. Honestly I am not quite sure how to put it into words, You must see this film even if its for his performance alone.

With that being said, the rest of the cast is pretty damn good as well, Tommy Lee Jones is terrific, John Hawkes is awesome, David Strathairn is fan-freaking-tastic, and Joseph Gordon Levitt continues his run of great performances. Hal Halbrook, Jackie Earle Haley and James Spader are all very good as well. The only problem I have with the casting is Sally Field playing Mary Todd Lincoln, its not that her performance is bad or anything but I just felt that she wasn't right for the role and really overacted.

Its funny to think that Spielberg's 'Lincoln', possibly the best and most comprehensive film that will be made about Lincoln, is released the same year as arguably the worst in 'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter', is Lincoln back in vogue or what ? Anyway this is a finely made biopic from one of cinemas most influential artist. A good film and if you have an avid interest in the subject matter, it may be a great film. Daniel Day-Lewis' performance will be remembered forever!


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