Based on the bestseller by Doris Kearns Goodwin, the script by Tony Kushner, the spine of the story is the passage of the 13th Amendment. Lincoln, played by Daniel Day-Lewis, Mary Todd by Sally field, Thaddeus Stevens by Tommy Lee Jones. Others that appear, and can anticipate Oscar nominations, include; Hal Holbrook, James Spader, Gloria Realen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and David Strathairn. Janusz Kaminski delivered his usual dazzling cinematography. John Williams composed seamless music.
Daniel Day-Lewis delivered a stellar performance as our 16th President. Immersing himself in the character and life of Lincoln Day-Lewis' performance seems to be a Gardner photograph come to life. Sally Field's performance as Mary Todd Lincoln is a journeyman performance of the highest order.
The story traces the political macinations necessary to achieve passage of the 13th amendment amid the political and military chaos the country faced near the end of the Civil War. Like a master magician Lincoln, with his powerful mind and gentle hand, directs the war effort, handles Congress with precision, manages negotiations with the Rebellion, and protects his family from the tumult that was the world of 1865. Surrounded by enemies, equivocators, doubt and fear Lincoln saw his dreams prevail.
This is a Spielberg opus, a project ten years in the making. LINCOLN will be placed in the realm of his best, comparable to Schindler's List.
In the world of 2012, with the political rigidity we currently face LINCOLN has lessons for us all, there will always be forces of fear and greed to overcome.
The theme of the picture was give to Tommy Lee Jones, as Thaddeus Stevens, to deliver, "...equal rights, under the law."
With the 150th anniversary of the Civil War upon us Spielberg has captured the essence of our greatest President, Abraham Lincoln, and explained the core reasons the war occurred. The war was inevitable, the results were not. President Lincoln managed to prevail, Stephen Spielberg shows us how. A "must see" movie. This reviewer had a small part in the production.