As the American Civil War continues to rage, America's president struggles with continuing carnage on the battlefield as he fights with many inside his own cabinet on the decision to emancipate the slaves.
In 1865, as the American Civil War winds inexorably toward conclusion, U.S. president Abraham Lincoln endeavors to achieve passage of the landmark constitutional amendment which will forever ban slavery from the United States. However, his task is a race against time, for peace may come at any time, and if it comes before the amendment is passed, the returning southern states will stop it before it can become law. Lincoln must, by almost any means possible, obtain enough votes from a recalcitrant Congress before peace arrives and it is too late. Yet the president is torn, as an early peace would save thousands of lives. As the nation confronts its conscience over the freedom of its entire population, Lincoln faces his own crisis of conscience -- end slavery or end the war.Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
Daniel Day-Lewis originally turned down the role of Abraham Lincoln, sending Steven Spielberg this letter: "Dear Steven. It was a real pleasure just to sit and talk with you. I listened very carefully to what you had to say about this compelling history, and I've since read the script and found it - in all the detail of which it describes these monumental events and in the compassionate portraits of all the principle characters - both powerful and moving. I can't account for how at any given moment I feel the need to explore one life as opposed to another. But I do know that I can only do this work if I feel almost as if there's no choice; that a subject coincides inexplicably with a very personal need and a very specific moment in time. In this case, as fascinated as I was by 'Abe,' it was the fascination of a grateful spectator who longed to see a story told rather than that of a participant. That's how I feel now in spite of myself, and though I can't be sure this won't change, I couldn't dream of encouraging you to keep it open on a mere possibility. I do hope this makes sense Steven. I'm glad you're making the film. I wish you the strength for it and I send both my very best wishes and my sincere gratitude to you for having considered me. Daniel." See more »
Early in the movie there is a military band playing. There is a clarinetist who's using a modern Boehm-fingering clarinet. Until the 1930s or so clarinets were made with the Albert fingering keys. The curved register key is the Albert giveaway, which is not seen in the band's clarinet. See more »
Private Harold Green:
[speaking to Lincoln on the battlefield]
Some of us was in the Second Kansas Colored. We fought the Rebs at Jenkins' Ferry last April just after they killed every Negro soldier they captured at Poison Springs. So at Jenkins' Ferry, we decided warn't takin' no Reb prisoners. And we didn't leave a one of 'em alive. The ones of us that didn't die that day, we joined up with the 116th US Colored, sir, from Camp Nelson, Kentucky.
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No opening credits except for the main title. See more »
For international releases, an additional prologue about the Civil War was added prior to the start of the film. It mostly shows archive photos with the prologue text included in it. This was decided by the studio's marketing department in its research which realized that while many non-American audiences know of the titular character, most of them are not familiar with the war itself. See more »
...and the Academy Award for Best Actor goes to....Daniel Day Lewis!
Directed by Steven Spielberg. Starring Daniel Day Lewis, Tommy Lee Jones and Sally Field. Written by Tony Kusher and Doris Kearns Goodwin.
"I am the president of the United States of America, clothed in immense power! You will procure me those votes!"
'As the Civil War continues to rage, America's president struggles with continuing carnage on the battlefield and as he fights with many inside his own cabinet on the decision to emancipate the slaves.'
Steven Spielberg has done it again! It seems like the older he gets, the better his films are! I was very satisfied with his efforts, particularly the set designs and tone. It was a joy to watch. I was not impressed with the cinematography efforts. It was well done but nothing stood out for me. For instance, Scorsese seems to bring a new camera angle/shot/position in every one of his films. I was expecting more.
The acting was this film's strongest aspect. Daniel Day Lewis brings an historic performance to the screen except I didn't see him in this picture. I saw Abraham Lincoln. He was so driven into the character, at times it was scary. Lewis' vision of Lincoln is self confident, calm and patient. It was in my favorite scene that his patience finally wore thin on his colleagues about the negativity in the 13th amendment. The mannerisms were spot on. His efforts match my personal favored work of his in 'My Left Foot'. His best contribution to the picture was consistency. Throughout, he never faltered. His accent never trailed off and his actions were always precise. He is fully deserving of the Academy Award for Best Actor. Tommy Lee Jones and Sally Field also gave great performances. They brought character and charisma to the picture. I particularly enjoyed the Daniel Day Lewis and Sally Field combination. They compliment each other very well. My only criticism of the cast is that there were too many actors. At times, the characters were defined with a tag on the bottom of the screen. I don't enjoy being told in letters who the characters are. I want the character to show me in action who they are.
The Score is very well done in this movie. The team of Spielberg and Williams never fails. The music brings just as much emotion to the screen as the actors do. It helps bring the vision and atmosphere to life.
This film isn't what I would call a 'masterpiece' but it was a joy to watch. A must see and one of the best films of 2012.
41 of 69 people found this review helpful.
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