It can only be described as surreal when you first see Abraham Lincoln on screen. There is not a doubt in your mind that you are looking and listening to the 16th President of the United States. Daniel Day-Lewis brought a presence to one of the most influential men in history. Lewis engulfs himself in the role and becomes Lincoln with a performance I am sure will land him yet another Oscar nomination.
How could Lincoln go wrong with such a cast? Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, Tommy Lee Jones, and Mr. Iím-in-every- great-movie-of-the-last-two-years Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The cast also includes one of my favorites: James Spader and the list goes on. Nobody is there just to fill a spot. If only every film could afford 11-12 of the most talented actors and actresses in Hollywood.
The intricate script written for Lincoln is nothing short of a masterpiece. In fact, itís really these fantastic actors and the script that make this movie so great: or at least 90% of the reasons for its greatness. The actors make this movie better than it had any right to be.
I think ďthe peopleĒ had an idea in mind for what this movie was going to be, and it actually was a better film for ignoring those expectations. Everything you thought the film was going to deliver or talk about is either completely avoided or is delivered in such an inadvertently classy manner that one will almost miss it in the intricacy of the dialogue.
The first scene that introduces Lincoln is a beautiful display of simple camera work and utopian lighting. I personally loved it, however some viewers may find this scene (as well as few others in the film) cheesy. And.. I agree, HOWEVER, Iíd argue that it is very hard and perhaps impossible to make a movie about olí ďHonest AbeĒ without being a little cheesy. And being a filmmaker that struggles to not make things a little cheesy, I completely understand and it didnít really bother me.
What I recommend before seeing this film is adequate sleep, as well as an energy drink or strong coffee. Though the script is wonderful and really just immaculate, it is A LOT of dialogue: about two and half hoursí worth. Your brain may want to convince you that itís ďboring,Ē but I wouldnít dare say that word to describe this masterpiece of a History Channel special. It is just a lot of dialogue with very little breaks or action in between.
However, there is some clever and wonderful comedy in this film to help keep you engaged. Look out for W.N. Bilbo (James Spader) who is almost always bringing a laugh when on screen: one reason why he is one of my favorites.
For the kids: Iím going to say No. Spare them the dialog. I do not think this film is for the kids
For the teens and college kids: You have to be a pretty intuitive college kid or teen to appreciate this film. And college kids these days donít sleep a lot. So I can see that presenting a problem. So, yes and no.
For the adults: This is most definitely for the adults. But as I said, buy a coffee from the snack bar. It will be worth all $6 you spend on it.
In the spirit of Abraham Lincoln and his passing of one of the most difficult to pass and important amendments in history, I rate this film 9.5/10 Amendments. The ONLY reason it is not a 10 is that it is hard to stay engaged for all two and half hours. But I fit in the college kid group so, perhaps, Iím just proving my point. Despite that, this is still one of the best films of the year. Expect to see it quite a bit in the Oscars.