Posted by Jen; 4 Stars
Director: Steven Spielberg
Cast: Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, David Strathairn, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, James Spader, Tommy Lee Jones
I was so disappointed with the wasted potential of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter that I thought I might give this one a try. The politics, the drama, the war could make this an outstanding movie (or a miniseries, please) that could be both entertaining and educational. This was an in-depth look at the man, but not so much the time.
This movie was superbly researched and the attention to detail is astounding. Daniel Day-Lewis was perfect for the part, getting away from the deep baritone voice and robust physique. However, a lot of the film was rather dry, which could hinder its acceptance by the mainstream. Lincoln himself had a story for every situation, and there was comic relief when a man ran away rather than listen to him. But for a time when the country is literally torn apart and brother was fighting brother, it is almost shameful to not show really any battle scenes. The focus was on passing the 13th amendment, emancipating the slaves, through the House of Representatives. There were no horrors of slavery depicted, and in fact they were quite separated from it. There was no sense of urgency, no bloodshed.
People should see this movie because it’s an important part of American history. It’s very dramatic, but has little bits of humor. It shows Honest Abe as a man – flawed and imperfect – doing what he had to in order to end both the war and slavery. I just wish there was a little more outside of him and the House of Representatives – a little more drama, a little more necessity.