Steven Spielberg has done it again. I had the pleasure of seeing Lincoln before it's release in a few weeks and I was really excited because I am a huge fan of Daniel Day Lewis and Steven Spielberg, so I knew putting them together would be Legend (wait for it) Dary! With the two of them together and with this type of material to work with it just oozed Oscar gold. And, yet, even with these high expectations I was still blown away on every level by the sheer grace and talent this film put together.
For those who do not know Lincoln tells the story of the issues Abraham Lincoln faced in passing the thirteenth amendment, which among other things freed the slaves, while the Civil War raged on.
Spielberg took me on a journey back in history to one of our nation's most iconic Presidents. And what makes this film such a masterpiece is that every element to the film is magnificent. The art direction and production design is brilliant. The sets are gorgeous and they were shot beautifully by cinematographer Janusz Kaminski to show off the scenery but not be a hindrance to the film itself and take the viewer out of the narrative. Everything seemed place just right so that the narrative can run smoothly. The costumes are also extremely well done. They are extravagant when they need to be and dirtied up a bit when the time calls for it as well. The costumes were tailored to help the actors give their best performance and not distract them or the viewer.
Speaking of the acting; every single performance is terrific. And I may just be saying this because Daniel Day-Lewis gives yet another spectacular performance elevating everyone else's work to another level. Day-Lewis as Abraham Lincoln is mesmerizing. He embodies the sixteenth President so well, in fact, that he makes it look like he is not even acting. He walks, talks, stands, and sits as if he was the President incarnate. Day-Lewis deserves every accolade he will receive this coming awards season.
Tommy Lee Jones and Sally Fields also give top notch performances as Thaddeus Stevens and Mary Todd Lincoln respectively. Jones' character's story line is particularly interesting because his motives are linked so closely to the narrative and you don't realize how much it means to him until the final minutes of the film which makes the ending that much more satisfying. I also would like to give notices to Lee Pace(Pushing Daisies) and Walton Goggins( Justified) cause I didn't know they were in the film and it is a nice surprise to see them.
The only problem that I had with the film is how long the film goes after its climax. It seems to just drag along, compared to the rest of the film. The film could have been cut in so many different places that would have given a more punctuated ending. But because there was so much of Lincoln's story that wanted to be told it just kind of lingers and fades out which is not a bad thing just seems like it could be more focused.
All in all, Spielberg put together the dream team, in a sense, to collaborate and pull off another brilliant and - dare I say- classic film.
Lincoln opens nationwide on November 16th. The trailer is below: