The biopic is an engrossing look at what exactly our beloved sixteenth president had to do to get enough votes in the House of Representatives to abolish slavery.
It sounds like a tough sell for a Spielberg film. Marvel -- as congressmen are bribed with promises of jobs! Gasp -- as they quietly mull their options! Thrill -- as a politician debates about crossing party lines! But this is Spielberg we're talking about, and the gifted Daniel Day-Lewis as Honest Abe, and the entire package is so well-wrapped that two and a half hours of politicking fly by.
You can't help but think Day-Lewis will be a major contender for a best actor Oscar. It's easy to convince yourself that the real Lincoln was quite a bit like he's portrayed here. Day-Lewis carries a sad gravity with him -- he's not only trying to steer the country through a war that split it in two, he's still grieving the loss of son Willie three years prior.
But he's still a gentle genius who spins out stories that manage to both entertain and educate his audience at the same time. If Lincoln wasn't like that in real life, he surely is in the enshrined images we hold of him.
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