5 Things You Need to Know: LINCOLN

When I see a movie in theaters, I will write the five things you need to know about it.

5 Things You Need to Know About… 


1. Steven Spielberg’s transformative and triumphant Lincoln is a film that depicts the innermost inner workings of our nation’s government at perhaps the foremost of historical crossroads.  The question of slavery abolition legislation in January of 1865 (as proposed through the 13th Amendment) is the two hours and twenty nine minutes traffic of our stage.  Despite its essential historical record and human condition exploration, the traffic is slow-moving, dense, and not ready-made for the average filmgoer, but like the challenges faced by President Lincoln and the great legislative and citizen abolitionist pioneers, Lincoln could not be more well worth the struggle.

2. Daniel Day-Lewis’s portrayal of the sixteenth United States President is simply the best performance in the career of the world’s best living film actor.  His full immersion commitment (staying in character throughout filming – on and off set, signing things “A” for Abraham) yields a revelatory cinematic experience.  From his first scene on a Virginia battlefield to his last moments at the White House before his fateful trip to the Ford’s theater on an April night in 1865, Day-Lewis is so believably this behemoth of a man and American icon that he creates the most personal relationship I have ever had with a real-life person on screen.  In one of the surest predictions I have ever had to make, Daniel Day-Lewis will win his third Best Actor Oscar at the 2013 Academy Awards.

3. In a brilliant career that has no equal in the medium, Steven Spielberg has never made a picture like Lincoln before.  Its subtlety, its delicacy, its courageous devotion to the processes that surround its subject as much as the subject itself, its commitment to the human detail in a mosaic of recognizable actors portraying historical figures and legislative players, and its ability to rely on words more than images stand out amongst his pantheon of great works.  This is the achievement of a director who has nothing left to prove, yet Mr. Spielberg has created another incredible journey to assert why he is the greatest living storyteller.

4. Tommy Lee Jones, triumphantly playing abolitionist congressmen Thaddeus Stevens of Pennsylvania, is at the centre of the most moving and inspiring moment of the picture (you will know it when you see it).  It reaffirms how big picture monumental changes and concepts (like the 13th Amendment) yield the most personal of consequences.

5. Lincoln is a motion picture (Spielberg’s first since Saving Private Ryan) that, like its subject matter, will be remembered as an all-time great.

David J. Bloom can be reached on twitter @davidbloom7 and writes about pop culture and the NBA for Bishop and Company.  His weekly X Factor column appears on Afterbuzztv.com and his weekly THE CHALLENGE: BATTLE OF THE SEASONS Power Rankings can be read on Derek Kosinski’s ultimatechallengeradio.com.

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