By Idris Garcia, Chattanooga, TN–Abraham Lincoln is one of American history’s most beloved characters, and Steven Spielberg’s portrayal in the film “Lincoln” will only enhance the legend.
The film follows Lincoln during the grueling months he is trying to pass the Thirteenth amendment to the Constitution, which would abolish slavery.
The Civil War rages on, after the bloody battle of Gettysburg and his famous “Gettysburg Address.”
For the lead role, Daniel Day-Lewis, an already decorated actor with two Academy Awards, was chosen.
It was apparent that Day-Lewis did his research when doing the part because he really seemed to have a firm grasp on the character.
He walked in a wiry manner and slightly hunched under the weight of a turbulent presidency as one could imagine the tall, lanky Lincoln would do. His slightly disheveled hair, glazed with gray hairs and the famous beard decorating his face made for an impressively similar look to the photographs we see in the history books.
Perhaps most surprising was the soft, higher pitched voice that emerged from such a large body. Though one can expect Lincoln to have a booming voice, being so tall and being one of the nation’s greatest past speakers, but according to an article on NPR, Day-Lewis discovered otherwise.
His voice was very commanding and yet soothing, really adding to the mystic aspect of our 16th president.
Day-Lewis truly possessed control of the movie as the lead role and his acting alone was enough to keep me glued to the screen. There is no doubt he will be one of the front runners for the Academy Award for best actor when it comes time for the Oscar’s.
The film itself was an emotional ride that provided a valuable insight into one of the most trying times this country has ever seen. The emotion and historical implication behind it cannot be overlooked because of the brilliant directing coupled by the cast.
Another highlight was the surprise appearance of Tommy Lee-Jones as Senator Thaddeus Stevens, a strong advocate of the Thirteenth amendment.
Jones starred in his role, taking command of the scenes in which he appeared. His character was fiery, often drawing laughs through his quick witted insults against his Democratic opponents. He will also receive Oscar consideration for best supporting actor no doubt.
If you are hoping to find a vampire slaying Lincoln, then you will be disappointed, but it proves to be one of the year’s best films thus far.