Lincoln is a winner

Bendigo Weekly | Bendigo Weekly | 01-Mar-2013

Daniel Day-Lewis
Even for those who show little to no interest in American politics, Steven Spielberg’s latest Oscar nominee is worth watching.
Two months after being elected to a second term, Abraham Lincoln (Daniel Day-Lewis, who won an Academy Award for this role) continues presiding over the American Civil War over the issue of African slaves.
Lincoln believes the quickest way to end said war is to change the 13th amendment in the US Constitution so that slavery, unless as a punishment, is disallowed.
He does so largely with the help of William Bilbo (James Spader) who secures votes from the Democrat members of Congress, and leader of the Republican Radicals Thaddeus Stevens (Tommy Lee Jones).
Meanwhile, there are troubles in Lincoln’s family.
Being a Spielberg film, it goes without saying that the plot, pacing, cinematography, music by John Williams and cast performances are all excellent.
The movie isn’t without its issues.
At times it becomes quite dull, and the comedy doesn’t always work.
However, what astonishes is that it draws modern parallels with another issue that gets Americans hot under the collar – gun control.
Part history and part drama, Lincoln isn’t always engaging but it does summarise deeply the issues that the title character, his family, the White House and ordinary people faced during that time – and some issues which are still being faced today.       
 – Tom Parry, YO Bendigo


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