In case you were wondering, no you won't be seeing any Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2 reviews on this site. You'll have to look elsewhere I'm afraid (I'm not really sorry...) My advice? Head over to my friend Kent's site at showtimeshowdown.com for his humorous take. Now that we have THAT out of the way, let's talk about Hollywood's latest big film in theaters: Lincoln. [Besides people....prove that you are good and intelligent people and show that you'd rather sit through a film about one of our most beloved and revered presidents than one about live sick vampires.]
Like Skyfall, Lincoln opened up to fantastic reviews. The film has been heralded by some as the best film of the year, and even the best of Steven Spielberg's career. Did it measure up to such high praise? Well...quite possibly. I don't think I can personally say it's Spielberg's best ever, but certainly it's his best in at least a decade. Then again, I never saw War Horse as I am not a fan of horse movies or war movies....so who knows maybe I'm wrong. But I definitely see how people could measure it among his best films. It is an incredible work that fits in nicely with Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan as effective portraits of very hard times in history.
Now first off...let's get one thing straight. This is indeed a good film with many merits, but the reason it will be thought of as great is almost single-handedly due to the awe inspiring performance of Daniel Day Lewis in the titular role. The cast that supports him is all incredibly solid as well, including some particularly memorable performances from Tommy Lee Jones, James Spader and Sally Field. But not once does it ever change the fact that this film belongs to DDL. It's not that he makes him some powerful figure with a boisterous voice and manner....he makes him a human man. A husband, father and President of a country during a tumultuous time. A man unsure if he can do all that is asked of him, but relies on God to guide him in the best course of action. Even my precious Joseph Gordon-Levitt who I consider to be one of the best actors of his generation, can't seem to hold his own in scenes with Lewis....perhaps it's because he too gets lost in awe in the perfect subtleties of the Lincoln that DDL brings to life.
That performance aside, the film is still good on its own and like I said full of other great performances too....in fact I think if you go to see the movie for anything you see it for the performances. That isn't to say the story isn't powerful. It is. There are many scenes I adored and found to be quite moving...but occasionally the film loses its focus and meanders a bit because there is so much going on-- so much to cover. Not every scene pulls off the emotional punch it is going for...but more get it right than wrong. I have specifics on these...but don't want to even put them in spoiler tags because everyone should go in fresh.
But perhaps the best reason to see this film is to see this beloved God fearing leader come to life. If I have any advice it would be to not try and inject your own agenda into the film. One may or may not be put in there already by the filmmakers, but in my opinion looking for metaphors to today undermines everything that happened THEN...and what it was all for when it happened. It isn't an allegory for something else, It's a part of a very certain and specific history. This is a political film, but don't try and twist it to fit your own political views. Yes things have changed since then with both parties...so just don't project anything onto anyone. Watch the film for its own story, as looking back on a certain time...whether or not it was intended to be a deeper story about something else. The story is deep enough on its own! Watch it to see the type of leader we could only dream about having....and are beyond grateful to ever have had at such a critical time for our nation. See This movie because Daniel Day Lewis brings him alive. I give it a 9/10 and would say it is indeed one of the best of the year.