‘Lincoln’ is A Remarkable Portrait

by Eric Melin on November 16, 2012

in Reviews,Video Reviews

Check out videos of all my movie reviews on KSNT-NBC, KTKA-ABC, and KTMJ-FOX, Kansas First News.

lincoln-movie-reviewDirector Steven Spielberg has been trying to make a movie about Abraham Lincoln for over a decade now, and this weekend the project finally hits theaters.

There are more than a couple extraordinary things about Lincoln. First, there is the sensitive, three-dimensional portrayal of our 16th President by Daniel Day-Lewis, who illuminates the man behind the legend with a subtle yet forceful performance. He may have been 6’4″, but if anything, this Lincoln is quiet and reserved. Even his big speeches — as stirring as they can be — seem like they are coming from a real place and don’t carry the booming voice of puffed-up “authority” that you hear from most politicians and pundits today.

Secondly, Spielberg’s more overt sentimentality is kept in check, yet he’s still able to be inspiring. The movie focuses specifically on the last four months of Lincoln’s life, giving us a richer portrait of the President’s skills as a politician as he maneuvers for enough votes in the House to adopt the 13th Amendment and end slavery. A more all-encompassing biopic of his life would have moved too fast and felt like highlight reel.

lincoln-movie-reviewEspecially in today’s frustratingly gridlocked political environment, Lincoln is timelier than ever. Tony Kushner’s remarkable juggling act of a screenplay shows shades of Lincoln’s personal conflict with his eldest son, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and his unstable wife Mary Todd, played by Sally Field—but more than anything, the movie gives us hope that government can accomplish great things even as it drags itself through the muck and strain of corruption.

It also takes the time to show a great leader giving thoughtful consideration to problems just as equally as he applies intense pressure. The end solution? Real and meaningful change.

Listen to more conversation about Lincoln on the Scene-Stealers Podcast.

Eric is the Editor-in-Chief of Scene-Stealers and regular critic for KCTV5. He’s a member of the BFCA, VP of the KCFCC, and drummer for The Dead Girls and Ultimate Fakebook. He is also the current 2013 Air Guitar World Champion Mean Melin. Eric goes to 11. Follow him at:

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 warren-j November 17, 2012 at 8:52 am

Wow! Interesting exchange at the end there, with the anchors! That one dude is a movie hater!!

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2 Trey Hock November 17, 2012 at 3:17 pm

At least it’s not in 3D.

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3 rk December 31, 2012 at 10:20 am

Good review of a great movie. However the political puff is nonsense. A painstakinly gridlocked political environment is what started the civil war, it is what makes americans and america great, we can disagree.

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