Beards and hats. Hats and beards.
I was disappointed to find this is not a film about the sleepy northern city of Lincoln but rather some American president with a penchant for fucking massive hats.
Lincoln is in fact a Political ‘thriller’ chronicling the passing of the thirteenth amendment that brought freedom to the black slaves of America. This basically consists of two and a half hours of men with spectacular beards shouting at each other interspersed with Sally Field shrieking like some hysterical southern belle in a bad Tennessee Williams play.
The acting (Fields aside) is magnificent across the board, and while Daniel Day Lewis wouldn’t get my nod for best actor at this years Oscars, you can’t really begrudge him it. There is an annoying tendency for Spielberg to depict every bit of dialogue that bellows out of honest Abe’s mouth as a motivational speech complete with stirring music and reaction shots but Day Lewis is so watchable it hardly matters.
The cast is brilliant and having Daniel Day Lewis, Tommy Lee Jones and Joseph Gordon Levitt in one movie is something to enjoy because it will never happen again what with Day Lewis’ often leaving five years or so between projects.
Lincoln will no doubt clean up at the Oscars but I’m not sure if it deserves to. It is not a film I can imagine myself ever watching more than twice nor is it a film I can see the next generation hankering to watch in twenty years time.
In a way we are never going to enjoy Lincoln in the same way as our American cousins, as the flag waving patriotism of it all is lost on us, but it is the directors job to make that aspect of the film unimportant. Spielberg falls short in that respect here.
Lincoln is technically brilliant and the acting makes it a worthwhile watch but it is a film I liked rather than loved.
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