If you are as ignorant as I when it comes to history, particularly foreign history, then you’ll know as much about Abraham Lincoln as I do: large man, wore a big hat, abolished slavery, had a deep voice, was shot.
Of course it’s unsurprising that a movie is made of the 16th President of the United States and it’s no surprise that the man behind the lens is Steven Spielberg given he seems to have given up on his sci-fi/action/adventure routes altogether.
The movie centres around Lincoln as he steers the country through the American Civil War and attempts to push the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution through Congress which would free all slaves nationwide.
What we get from Spielberg is a performance masterpiece from the entire cast. Daniel Day-Lewis is as superb as ever as the President, Sally Field is brilliant as his wife, David Strathairn, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, James Spader, Tommy Lee Jones and many, many more shine in the roles (some brief) that are afforded them.
I can’t comment on the accuracy of the movie but it is surprising to learn how Lincoln went about getting the Thirteenth Amendment and the reason he wanted it pushed through (I won’t spoil it in case you’re as in the dark as I).
When the film first starts I was expecting another Saving Private Ryan but what you get it actually much closer to The West Wing, to me it seemed like an extended, 1800’s episode of the series and that isn’t a bad thing.
I would say this movie will appeal much more to you if you are American or perhaps have an interest in American history for whatever reason. If what you want is a movie jam-packed full of masterful performances then give it a go. If you want escapism or something easy going I’d say have a re-think.