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REVIEW: Lincoln

REVIEW: Lincoln

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.

2-and-a-half stars


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