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December 15, 2012
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Daniel Day Lewis’s performance in “Lincoln” is brilliantly delivered. His Lincoln is everything history has said he was: shuffling walk and all. Two and a half hours of Daniel Day Lewis hunched over and drawling Shakespeare inbetween stories isn’t all that the movie has to offer, though.
The movie is painstakingly detailed and the characters are skillfully portrayed. Thattius Stevens, played by Tommy Lee Jones, is especially memorable—even if all I can hear is Agent K speaking to me when he opens his mouth. Nevertheless, he fits well in the movie as a man whose own belief in racial equality supersedes that of legal equality.

One of “Lincoln’s” only downfalls is its sheer length. Lincoln is long and has many parts that could have been cut out without any harm to the overall movie. The editor, Michael Kahn could have shortened or scrapped altogether the subplot with Lincoln’s son Robert (Joseph Gorden-Levitt). After all, concise is nice.

One last thing that “Lincoln” lacks is total historical accuracy. The details that the prop department included and the actors all added to the authenticity of the movie, but the plot overshadows all attempts at making this movie into a documentary. The movie, like many Americans, stresses the fact that the Civil War is about slavery and the thirteenth amendment above all else. Many will not be surprised to hear that the movie is all about Abraham Lincoln’s fight to ratify his famed thirteenth amendment. The problem is…the Civil War was never a one-issue war and any truly historically accurate film would make a note of that.

Though I understand the choice made in portraying the Civil War in the way that “Lincoln” did—it was a movie after all—the movie’s biggest failing is that it is not a documentary, but the shadow of slavery adds to the movie and the time-period in a way that the other Civil War issues would not.

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