Thursday, July 9, 2015

Lincoln (2012)

It's kinda fitting that this movie almost ended up on HBO. In many ways it is the ultimate HBO politics movie. Like Recount, Game Change and Too Big To Fail it's a film about the behind the scenes intricacies of politics and it's filled to the brim with major stars and recognizable character actors. But unlike those other films (which I actually did enjoy) this one actually knows what story it is telling.

Those other film love to go off on tangents and will often let a showboat performance draw attention away from both the narrative and the true protagonist. While Julianne Moore got all the awards and attention for Game Change, that movie is really Steve Schmidt/Woody Harrelson's story. Lincoln does not make that mistake. It's right there in the title.

Sure it's a story about a "team of rivals", but it's first and foremost a story about this odd man who saw the world a little differently than everyone else. Daniel Day Lewis expertly plays Honest Abe like some sort alien who nobody really understands and who constantly needs to explain himself. Like a filmmaker, he has a vision and it's his job to communicate that vision to all his collaborators so that it can become real. No wonder Steven Spielberg has such admiration for him.

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