Saw "Lincoln" last night. It was very good! I thought some folks here might be interested, just because of the ongoing discussion about why Lincoln was the worst president in the history of the USA and possibly world. And, the movie TOTALLY alludes to his taking liberties with war powers and generally being a political sleezeball in order to get what he wanted, but lets him defend his actions via Daniel Day Lewis, who is a god among actors and no disappointment here.
Now, it is a Spielberg film, which may put you off, but he doesn't "go there" (into the cheeseball tearjerky bullshit zone) until the last, totally missable eight-minute coda after the climax of the movie. I knew it was coming... in my head, I was like, "Just end the movie here, Steven, everyone knows where he's going, to the playhouse, there's no ambiguity but you could, for once in your career, leave us with the illusion of ambiguity by not actually saying he's going to the playhouse, by not actually showing one of the most famous historical event in US history.... we all know, so just end it here." But no. But whatever. At least no one was putting rocks on his grave or dancing with tiny aliens.
The real treat for me was the dialogue. It almost reminded me of a movie from the 50s, where it's all about clever repartee. Of course, it's a little more hamfisted for the modern action-romcom-Facebook audience than, say, "Inherit the Wind." I mean, you can't just reference a Biblical quote or Penguin classic off the cuff anymore, because modern audiences don't really read that stuff. But considering the current zeitgeist, it was a really clever script. The insults traded on the House floor are downright Shakespearian. And it shows a lot of the nuance surrounding the passage of the 13th Amendment that I had never really contemplated before. Steven Spielberg's inexplicable need for comic relief no matter how serious the subject matter serves him extremely well here, too - the guys Secretary of State Seward hires to buy votes are like the three stooges, but not quite as ridiculous. A touch of levity really serves to humanize the extreme racism of the day.
Anyway, recommended, with reservations. If you want to see a talky, historically accurate movie with great acting and writing, you'll probably like it. If that sounds boring as fuck, well, it'll probably be boring as fuck. Since there are no special effects to speak of, it'll be fine on the small screen, too.
"4 cylinder Camaro=communism" El Presidente
"You can smoke salmon but it's not quite the same as smoking heroin." nanuq