Monday, February 18, 2013


Daniel Day Lewis, Tommy Lee Jones,
Sally Field, David Straithairn

Cinema 5, SM Megamall

I guess this Steven Spielberg movie can't really classify as a biopic, per se.  It deals with merely a short aspect (his final four months) of Abraham Lincoln's presidency.  Set in January 1865, he just got reelected to his second term, the Civil War is still brewing and he is hard pressed to have Congress pass the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. A controversial law that seeks to abolish slavery in the Southern States. 

So this well structured film mostly shows the different tactics Lincoln and the members of his Cabinet along with high ranking members of the Republican Party resorted to get the crucial 20 votes (from representatives of the Democratic Party) to pass the 13th Amendment.  

At the same time, there is a human tale. More notably him as a husband to his depressive wife Mary (Sally Field) and a father to 2 boys. We learn that he lost his young son Willie to typhoid fever, a sad incident that haunted him till his last breath.  How he tried his best to prevent his older son Robert (Joseph Gordon Levitt) to enlist in the army.

Daniel Day Lewis' performance is truly remarkable. I like how he completely immersed himself in the persona of the 16th US President.  From the high pitched voice (sometimes he sounded like Bill Clinton), his quirks as well as his manner of walking.   Abraham Lincoln is portrayed as a learned man that likes to tell stories, can easily talk to people from all sectors of society but can also be quite firm when he decides to take action.

The wranglings within Congress is quite a handful to absorb. Many characters abound, most of whom I'm not at all familiar with since I'm not American.  But I'd say "Lincoln" is worth watching for the formidable acting of this year's Best Actor at the Academy Awards, Daniel Day Lewis.

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