Lincoln

Director:  Steven Speilberg

Lead Actors:  Daniel Day Lewis, David Stratham, Sally Field


Plot Synopsis:

Quite possibly one of the best films in a long time, coming from the modern day film-making master Steven Spielberg.



A history lesson from the heart. This epic movie about one of our influential presidents covers a very short period in Lincoln’s life wherein he used all of his political game to pass the 13th amendment which would ensure equal rights for all men under the law.

This from the man who gave us Color Purple. This from the liberal-minded who was working long before Tyler, the man who gave us Amistad. Here Spielberg honors the man, who, more than most anyone else, gave African Americans a chance in this highly prejudiced country.

Many are the societies on this Earth who had slaves, fewer are those who freed them and integrated them among their own society! Most say that issue is what started the Civil War, the bloodiest American war ever between the North and the South.


Scenes of the Civil War are painstakingly depicted in Lincoln, as are the thousands and thousands of dead bodies. In fact, in one scene, we see a wheel barrow of limbs dumped into the ground. THIS IS NOT YOUR FOURTH GRADER’S HISTORY BOOK LESSON ABOUT ABE LINCON.

Abe Lincoln is brought to life by undoubtedly the greatest actor of our time, Daniel Day Lewis. The master. The only thing is, I would have to take the filmmaker’s word for it tgat Day Lewis was involved with this movie, because I didn’t see him once. What I did see was Lincoln, the man I’ve read about the man I’ve idolized since someone gave me my first penny. Finally, there he was, in the flesh.

 
And I’m thankful that I am old enough to understand that Lincoln was, first and foremost, a politician. A good man no doubt, but also a scheming politician. I thank my lucky stars that he did his bartering and manipulating for causes I believe in.
Because before there was Obama, and Karl Rove, and Bush and the Clintons, there people before us doing everything for the vote, being lobbied, being tested.

Highlights/Top Scenes
Spielberg’s depiction of the US House of Representatives was both funny and a little scary. They all seemed so flawed and average for representatives. So human! Who knows what I would be saying after a day spent in today's House of Congress!

It has to be stated here that Tommy Lee Jones was a standout as a proponent of abolition whose vote was key to Lincoln's mission of getting the 13th amendment passed. While there were many fine performances among the 135 speaking roles created by this move, my favorite was James Spader as a sloppy, gutted lobbyist who had his hand in making history.



 
In the end, this is an honest look at American Politics by the creator of Jurassic Park and Jaws that left this humble viewer full of hope!

3 comments:

  1. While "Lincoln" may receive critical acclaim in the end, we must NOT forget that Spielberg also gave us Casper, The Goonies and Harry and The Hendersons.

    . . . together, these motion pictures have inflicted more grief and suffering on the American population than the Civil War ever did.

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  2. Here are some production notes on Lincon, gained from Wikepedia.

    ProductionWhile consulting on a Steven Spielberg project in 1999, Goodwin told Spielberg she was planning to write Team of Rivals, and Spielberg immediately told her he wanted the film rights.[32] DreamWorks finalized the deal in 2001,[11] and by the end of the year, John Logan signed on to write the script.[33] His draft focused on Lincoln's friendship with Frederick Douglass.[34] Playwright Paul Webb was hired to rewrite and filming was set to begin in January 2006,[11] but Spielberg delayed it out of dissatisfaction with the script.[35] Neeson said Webb's draft covered the entirety of Lincoln's term as President.[36]

    Tony Kushner replaced Webb. Kushner considered Lincoln "the greatest democratic leader in the world" and found the writing assignment daunting because "I have no idea [what made him great]; I don't understand what he did anymore than I understand how William Shakespeare wrote Hamlet or Mozart wrote Così fan tutte." He delivered his first draft late and felt the enormous amount written about Lincoln did not help either. Kushner said Lincoln's abolitionist ideals made him appealing to a Jewish writer, and although he felt Lincoln was Christian, he noted the president rarely quoted the New Testament and that his "thinking and his ethical deliberation seem very talmudic".[37] By late 2008, Kushner joked he was on his "967,000th book about Abraham Lincoln".[38] Kushner's initial 500-page draft focused on four months in the life of Lincoln, and by February 2009 he had rewritten it to focus on two months in Lincoln's life when he was preoccupied with adopting the Thirteenth Amendment.[36]

    While promoting Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull in May 2008, Spielberg announced his intention to start filming in early 2009,[39] for release in November, ten months after the 200th anniversary of Lincoln's birth.[32] In January 2009, Taunton and Dighton, Massachusetts were being scouted as potential locations.[40] Spielberg arranged a $50 million budget for the film, to please Paramount Pictures CEO Brad Grey, who had previously delayed the project over concerns it was too similar to Spielberg's commercially unsuccessful Amistad (1997). Spielberg had wanted Touchstone Pictures–which agreed to distribute all his films from 2010–to distribute the film, but he was unable to afford paying off Paramount, which DreamWorks had developed the film with.[41]

    Filming took place in Petersburg, Virginia. According to location manager Colleen Gibbons, "one thing that attracted the filmmakers to the city was the 180-degree vista of historic structures" which is "very rare".[42] Lincoln toured Petersburg on April 3, 1865, the day after it fell to the Union Army. Scenes have also been filmed in Fredericksburg, Virginia and at the Virginia State Capitol in Richmond, which served as the Capitol of the Confederacy during the Civil War.[3][43] Abraham Lincoln visited the building on April 4, 1865, after Richmond fell to the Union Army.

    On September 4, 2012, DreamWorks and Google Play announced on the film's Facebook page that they would release the trailer for the film during a Google+ hangout with Steven Spielberg and Joseph Gordon-Levitt on September 13, 2012 at 7pm EDT/4pm PDT.[44] Then, on September 10, 2012, a teaser for the trailer was released.[45]

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  3. Notes on cinematogrpahy from Vulture.com

    Lincoln
    Why do Kaminski and Spielberg hold back on showing you Daniel Day-Lewis's Abraham Lincoln during the first scene in their biopic? "He's talking to the troops who see him as an icon, so we wanted to frame the first image in an iconic way," explains Kaminski. "In order to obtain the mystery in him, I didn't put too much light into his eyes." Still, in later scenes — like one where Lincoln calmly entertains his son in the White House while a divided Congress votes on the 13th Amendment — Kaminski sought to play against that iconic image: "You always have to think, 'What does this represent? What's happening outside the scene?' Well, he's waiting for the votes to come through, and even if you're a moron who doesn't know history, you know that the amendment was passed because the hopefulness and the light quality of that image would tell you that the amendment is going to pass." The result is an angelic but natural shot of Lincoln bathed in light. "I wanted to create a very intimate image of this man on the most important day of his life: He's still a father, and he's still allocating time to be with his family and his son," says Kaminski. "So there were situations where I was trying not to be iconic, but very few. You are making a movie about Lincoln: He's an icon, so the photography and the composition needs to reflect that." Adds the cinematographer, "You can't really show the man taking a dump, you know?"

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