After nearly 12 years of research and production, Steven Spielberg’s new blockbuster, Lincoln, is set to be one of the most successful films of recent years. The historical account, of the last few months of America’s 16th President Abraham Lincoln’s life, has received high praise from movie-goers worldwide.
The film is set in 1865, four years into the Civil War as President Lincoln serves his second term in office. He believes that slavery must come to an end before the war is over and begins work trying to pass the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution. Already passed in the Senate, Lincoln must now gain enough votes for the bill to be passed in the House of Representatives – this is where his problems arise. He has to convince his Democratic opponents and fellow Republicans at any cost, as he is left with the difficult decision to either end the war or end slavery. At the same time he faces problems at home with his oldest son leaving for the army to the dismay of the rest of the family.
London born actor Daniel Day-Lewis (Gangs of New York) beams on screen as President Lincoln, with Sally Field (Norma Rae) by his side as his wife Mary Todd Lincoln. Other stars include David Strathairn (The Bourne Ultimatum) Tommy Lee Jones (Men in Black) and Joseph Gordon-Levitt (The Dark Knight Rises) as their eldest son Robert Lincoln.
“Personally, the film seemed quite long and a little too talkative at times but there is no denying that Daniel Day-Lewis was captivating as Lincoln, defiantly would recommend it to my friends,” said 24 year old barman Lee Stobart.
Daniel Day-Lewis originally turned down the role of Lincoln, but after some encouragement from fellow actor Leonardo Dicaprio, he finally accepted the role. Spielberg read out his rejection letter last month at the New York Critics Circle Awards in which Day-Lewis said: “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.” His hesitancy goes unnoticed through his transformation into one of the most popular Presidents in American history.
Spielberg took a different approach when directing, instead of violent scenes of war he choose to focus on human relationships and the strain felt by Lincoln and all those around him during this pivotal chapter in American History. Daniel Day-Lewis’ mannerisms and presence throughout the film provides viewers a comforting voice in the midst of this political saga. With beautiful costumes, a polished soundtrack and an exact replica of the White House during Lincoln’s presidency we are able to transport ourselves back to this era with ease.