3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A Great Man For The Job,
This review is from: Lincoln [DVD] (DVD)
I had expected this to be a linear biography of Lincoln, covering all aspects of his life from before he became President. But it is not. It focuses on the story of him trying to force the 13th Amendment through Congress. (His renowned Gettysburg address is quoted to him, but the film starts two years or so after he makes it.)
This makes the politicking difficult to follow without a fair understanding of 19th Century American Politics, but without this prism of shortened time, the film would be impossibly long. Spielberg does well in bringing human sensibilities to the theatre of Congress, and adds dashes of humour and horror in equal measure.
The cast is brilliant, Sally Field as his neurotic wife; David Strathairn as his loyal, yet beleaguered Secretary of State; James Spader as the fixer; and Tommy Lee Jones as his Republican enemy/ally are all excellent. But Daniel Day Lewis stands head and shoulders above them all. If this is an accurate portrayal then it is unsurprising that he's held in such high regard. Lewis's skill though is in his utter believability as his character. And that greatness in acting is very fitting when applied to a figure as innately great as Lincoln himself.