Review: Lincoln

Now I just look like a hater.

Abraham Lincoln Film Grizzly Bear Constitution Rifle

Let me state first that Lincoln is less biopic, less historical drama than it is a political drama. And that if there are any genres of film that I dislike more than the average moviegoer, it’s these.

Secondly, I can say with a good bit of confidence, despite seeing very few films from 2012 so far, that Daniel Day Lewis would get my Oscar nomination. As he does every time that he makes a movie. My mother, with whom I saw the film and who is an even bigger DDL fan than I am, said that it’s the best Lincoln portrayal that she’s ever seen. I can’t think of another Abe I’ve seen, but Lewis does all that you’d hope for and then some, making the president into a more soft-spoken, simple guy from the country than the depictions of years past, a welcome contrast which plays to the realism of the film. Underneath it all though, Lincoln is a very cunning politician who is not above buying votes to pass the 13th Amendment, which is what this film is about.

Lincoln Daniel Day Lewis Angry

But that is ALL it’s about. And it’s long. And it’s exhausting.

I think part of my issue with historical films is that I already know what’s going to happen, and more often than not, there’s not much of a plot. This has more of a direction than most, but at the end of the day it’s a film centered around a bunch of old politicians wheeling-and-dealing and arguing, and I already know who will win the argument. I’ve read a few glowing reviews of this film. It seems that where I differ the most from the big critics is about the representation of Washington. Lincoln makes it so realistic (it really does), but there’s the dark underbelly of politics with offering jobs for votes and…I understand, Mr. Spielberg, and it’s great because there have been so many poor depictions of the process in the past, especially if we’re looking just at films about American politics. But Lincoln doesn’t get points from me just for being better than most political thrillers, and for me it’s not any more gripping. Another film sure to get a lot of nominations come award season, but the only recognition it truly deserves is for the actor that attempted to carry it.

Reverie Control Rating

1.5 stars Reverie Control


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