“Lincoln”

“Lincoln” is absolutely magnificent! Daniel Day-Lewis gives an Oscar-winning performance as the Civil War president. Adapted from Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book, TEAM OF RIVALS: THE GENIUS OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN by Tony Kushner and under the direction of Steven Spielberg, this stunning film relates the political atmosphere and the personal drama during the last months of Lincoln’s life…

After four horrendously bloody years of war, peace may be possible, but Lincoln is determined to have the House pass the 13th Amendment, which abolishes slavery forever, before the South surrenders. He feels it is an indisputable necessity in order to keep the seceded states, once the conflict is over, from returning to the immoral practice of slavery. Though the Senate passed the amendment a year earlier, the House is still sorely divided with most Democrats against it – solely because they do not concur that negroes are equal to whites. However, William Seward (David Strathairn), Lincoln’s Secretary of State, informs the President that only twenty votes or abstentions are needed to win in the next few weeks. By hook or by not too much crook, hopefully, this can be accomplished by persuading, maybe intimidating, those on the yea/nay fence to vote for the amendment. Those doing the persuading are Thaddeus Stevens (Tommy Lee Jones), W.N. Bilbo (James Spader), Robert Latham (John Hawkes), and Richard Schell (Tim Blake Nelson).

Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton (Bruce McGill), could not be less concerned with the amendment; his objective is to pulverize the South into submission. Ulysses S. Grant (Jared Harris) is charged with stalling three southern emissaries, who were convinced by nonpolitician Preston Blair (Hal Holbrook) to negotiate with Lincoln, from reaching Washington, which could postpone or nullify the amendment’s vote. Sally Field excellently plays Mary Todd Lincoln, a tormented woman, unable to get over the death of their son, Willie, or to understand the depth and breadth of her husband’s position and stress, let alone be of any comfort to him.

Lincoln has a tendency to tell stories or anecdotes to get his point across, which irritates some by seeming to come at inappropriate times. However, he merely wants to make others aware of how he thinks and reaches conclusions and decisions. He never purports to be a genius or even well-educated, but he is definitely a thorough thinker and no one can make him back down from what he knows to be right. Watching Day-Lewis talking, pondering, fuming, and laughing brought this most unique historic figure to life…

“Lincoln” is remarkable, just completely remarkable! And at the end, the audience applauded.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

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About Cyranette

I have been writing since I was 11 and am now a grandmother of 9. Aside from my family, I love writing, reading, movies, gardening, genealogy, and travel. I met my soulmate online and we've been married 19 years. I am a survivor of rape, abuse, and cancer. I believe in love, kindness, and common sense. I was born/raised in Indiana and have lived in Massachusetts, Texas, and California. I have visited: most of the United States, British Columbia, Germany, Austria, and Costa Rica. My husband and I would like to visit England, Europe, and New Zealand and to take a train ride along the Canadian/American border. I have written essays, articles, short stories, a romance novel, a self-help book, and several children's books.
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