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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Lincoln by Steven Spielberg, 2012 (PG-13)

From the director of War Horse
with Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, David Strathairn (The Bourne Legacy, The Whistleblower), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (The Dark Knight Rises, Looper, 50/50, Inception), James Spader, Hal Holbrook, Tommy Lee Jones (Hope Springs, MIB 1, MIB 2, MIB 3), Jackie Earle Haley (Dark Shadows), John Hawkes (American Gangster, Winter's Bone, The Sessions), Jared Harris (Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows), Joseph Cross (Milk), Tim Blake Nelson, David Oyelowo (Rise of the Planet of the Apes), Bruce McGill (Fair Game)

Director Steven Spielberg takes on the towering legacy of Abraham Lincoln, focusing on his stewardship of the Union during the Civil War years. The biographical saga also reveals the conflicts within Lincoln's cabinet regarding the war and abolition.

Introduced by an ex-president at the Golden Globes (Bill Clinton), winning Best Actor in the same ceremony.
Oscar nominated for best Picture, Best Actor in a Leading Role (WON), best Actor in a supporting role, best Actress in a supporting role, best Cinematography, best Costume Design, best Directing, best Film Editing, best Original Score, best Production Design (WON), best Sound Mixing and best Adapted Screenplay.

Of course, all this is overwhelming, so I had to watch it. It is a strangely slow paste, with a deep work in the performances, a strong will to impersonate the people that created the fundamentals of our society, with no attempt to make it a fancy contemporary discourse. On the contrary, Lincoln is portrayed not only as the father of the United States was a father figure for his surrounding, a human being with the conflicts of his determination and righteousness, shaping words by word the portrayal of a man, a father, a lawyer, a politician and a leader. The movie is at times funny, emotional, educational, strategic, and not only centered on Lincoln but on determining roles that participated in reshaping the history, such as Stevens and Mary Todd Lincoln. It is still a very serious movie, very dark in its cinematography. While watching it, you could almost feel the texture, the smells, the humidity, there is time for all these sensations to be explored. An interesting piece, definitely, not as mainstream as the director is. Except perhaps for the ending in a sort of commemorative homage style.
The movie ends with the death of Lincoln, which interestingly is the beginning of "The Conspirator" by Robert Redford. Somehow I wouldn't have connected the two movies, but there is something similar in the greyness and lack of color in The Conspirator which reminds me of "Lincoln".

Watch Trailer:


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