Lincoln
Lincoln

Film Review

Film title
Lincoln
Director
Steven Spielberg
Starring
Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, David Strathairn, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Hal Holbrook
Release date
25 Jan
Certificate
12A

Lincoln

4/5 stars
Film review by Jenny Munro Hunt.
Published 18 January 2013

Much has been made in the US press of Daniel Day-Lewis’s decision to adopt a high, reedy voice (instead of a stentorian baritone) to portray sixteenth president Abraham Lincoln, but for the non-American viewer, not schooled in Lincoln lore from an early age, this doesn’t prove distracting, despite the occasional hint of Grampa (Abraham) Simpson. 

Spielberg’s Lincoln is resolutely not a biopic, rather a vignette of the events leading to the pivotal moment in American history when slavery was finally abolished. We learn little about Lincoln’s journey to the White House; we don’t hear his famous Gettysburg address (except through the mouths of a few soldiers); at times, the intricacies of passing amendments in congress can be a little mystifying. But this is a warm, celebratory film, handsomely shot, with a subtle, sympathetic central performance from Day-Lewis, and tremendous support from Tommy Lee Jones, more craggy and engaging with every role, as sarcastic, flamboyant abolitionist Thaddeus Stevens.

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