By Skip Sheffield
That is my one-word description of “
Steven Spielberg’s tribute to America’s
embattled 16th President as portrayed by British actor Daniel
Based on Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book with screenplay by Tony Kusher, “
Lincoln” centers on the last four
months of Abraham Lincoln’s life, as he waged an emotional battle to pass the
13th Amendment, banning slavery in the USA as the Civil War raged on.
Two-time Oscar-winner Daniel Day-Lewis bears an uncanny resemblance to tall, thin, you could say gaunt and haunted, Abraham Lincoln.
“I am keenly aware of my aloneness” muses
Lincoln after the Battle of Gettysburg.
It is hard for us to imagine how passionate and contentious the fight over slavery was. It did in fact divide the nation and lead to the War Between the States.
was the man at the helm through the whole murderous struggle. Through his
performance, Day-Lewis shows us the courage, perseverance and political
brilliance of one of America’s
strongest Presidents in history.
strongest allies and close friend was Secretary of State William Seward, played
with strength and dignity by David Strathairn.
Tommy Lee Jones provides whimsical comic relief as fiery abolitionist Thaddeus Stevens, wearing a ridiculous wig his character even comments upon.
has an epic scale to it, and it does not spare the violence and carnage of the
Civil War. It does underline the moral courage required of Lincoln, even though he was forced to bend
the rules and even resort to bribery to achieve his end.
It is highly ironic that in
Lincoln’s time the Republican Party was the
liberal, even radical party and the Democrats were the state’s rights,
bible-thumping conservatives. How things have changed.