When a 03 time Academy Award winning director teams up with a 02 time Academy Award winning actor one should anticipate a mesmerizing cinematic experience in whatever motion picture they conjure up. The outcome indeed is 11 nominations at the 85th Academy Awards which is simply a few hours away from the moment this is being written.
The late president Abraham Lincoln is considered by scholars as one of 3 greatest U.S Presidents. Abraham Lincoln was elected into office as president in the year 1861 as the 16th president of the United States of America and is the first U.S president to be assassinated. A lifelong dream becomes a reality when finally Steven Spielberg after many years of different screenplay adaptations found the perfect script in the works of Tony Kushner (Who is nominated for an Award in the category of “writing –adapted screenplay”). Thus Spielberg unveils the chronicle of carnage of the American Civil war and the political battle fought by Abraham Lincoln in passing the 13th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States and thereby abolishing slavery.
Heavy subject matter isn’t it? How does Spielberg fair?
Spielberg as always has many a tricks up his sleeve. A man who is known to explore and push the boundaries of movie making surprisingly changes his styles in direction. Those who know the works of Steven Spielberg will go into the movie LINCOLN expecting to experience the American Civil War with award winning style set pieces much like in SAVING PRIVATE RYAN (Spielberg won Best Director in 1999 for this movie), instead I truly became one with the vision of Spielberg as he narrated the humble drama of the man; Abraham Lincoln. He had a vision of telling the story of this great president and sharing with this generation who LINCOLN truly may have been. It is appropriate to say he succeeds.
The first choice for the lead had been Liam Neeson (Who was nominated for an Oscar for SCHINDLERS LIST) and for reasons unknown with time the choice moved to Daniel Day Lewis. Words cannot do justice to the utterly implausible feat Lewis puts up in portraying LINCOLN. I have seen many performances but this by far is the best performance I have ever seen by an actor up to this day and I am certain he will walk away with the award for the best actor at the awards this evening. After being cast for the part Lewis requested for a period of one year before shooting began and it seems that he may have done some extensive study on his own. The posture, the body language and the shrilly voice made me believe that I was truly looking at Abraham Lincoln. There are no tapes nor were clips of the actual president therefore growing up it was only a face to a name every time I heard the name LINCOLN. How accurate it is or how appropriate it is I cannot tell, but Daniel Day Lewis puts up the most passionate and convincing performance of a life time.
LINCOLN is a movie that progresses at a tremendously slow pace with moments of humor induced by random cameo appearances. Tommy Lee Jones and Sally Field do not fall behind Lewis by far. Whilst this cannot be considered as a careers best for Jones and Fields their performances yet again are timely, appropriate and most importantly passionate and hence lacks nothing which the motion picture requires for sustenance.
The Verdict: Performances that I consider I am privileged to have watched. 5 stars for Daniel Day Lewis and his supporting cast. A slow paced and humble tale of one of the greatest men ever lived. A must watch!
Wishing Daniel Day Lewis a win this evening!
DIRECTED BY: STEVEN SPIELBERG
STARRING: DANIEL DAY LEWIS, SALLY FIELD & TOMMY LEE JONES.
RUNTIME: 150 MINUTES