Lincoln Review (Nadia Sandhu)

Lincoln (2012)

Starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field and David Strathairn

Directed by Steven Spielberg

Don’t let the period costumes in the trailers fool you, Lincoln is no ordinary biopic. In point of fact, this film is not a biopic at all, but rather a snapshot of a final heroic act of politicking by one of the smartest  politicians to ever grace monetary currency.  The film opens as Lincoln is re-elected to a second term and the Civil War is dragging on towards its foregone conclusion.  Political intrigue and legal maneuvering are the order of the day as the president races to codify his maybe not so legally binding Emancipation Proclamation in the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution  – the abolition of slavery.

You won’t get to see how Abraham went from log cabin to the White House, or why his election in 1860 caused rich plantation owners who didn’t vote for him to rise up and secede from the Union (I’m looking at you @realDonaldTrump).  Rather, Lincoln is a movie about the vision and tenacity that makes a great leader and stands in marked contrast to the recent US Election Sideshow.  One hopes newly re-elected President Obama watches this film for useful political instruction STAT.  Actually one hopes the Republican backroom boys head out en masse as a timely reminder that political leadership is not the same thing as good business management and maybe, just maybe, Karl Rove’s heart will grow two sizes as he is reminded what being a Republican has meant to his country. I digress.

Masterful filmmaking meets THE acting performance of the Millennium (to date) as director Steven Spielberg and lead actor Daniel Day Lewis pull back the curtain on a dramatic, violent, emotional period where a pragmatic, rational, but no less visionary man used every trick in the book to successfully perform a political sword dance that safe guarded basic principles of democracy while still maintaining the sanctity of the law (even if it had to be bent to achieve the former).

It is not every day that a film comes along that everyone must see, but this is that film. See it tonight. Skyfall can wait! (Ed – Skyfall can’t wait, see both!)

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