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a personal view of the Movie Lincon
Speilberg's MO

Submitted: February 18, 2013

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Submitted: February 18, 2013



If you haven't seen this movie it's worth a trawl through the film plot , to get the jist of ''Lincon'' - a few minutes on Wikepedia will do- but the more links you follow the more the whole thing will gel.

Set during a 3 week period towards the end of the American Civil War, Speilberg casts a wide net here trapping all the subtle ruses used by the most esteemed President in US History .
Day Lewis takes you into his confidence from the start and you find yourself suddenly inside the head of a troubled man ;driven by the abolition of slavery for posterity .You find yourself looking up at this projected giant who is everybody's favorite wise old uncle. When he realizes the immensity of his task he sets his mind and body against the squalls and storms from his own party , and the Democratic Party .You soon find yourself in a race to the final debate - You know as it accelerates that the vote count is narrowing- leading to the vote in the house that Abe has a determination which is etched in the rock on Mt WHitmore.

The dialogue often becomes turgid , but the scriptwriters use a clever ploy to lighten the load . When times get tough Abe frequently starts telling a yarn that has little to do with anything , but you listen to is as if he's telling it for the first time .- and by the same device both the tension of the moment is eased , yet you know the clock is ticking and Lincon is now depending on members of the Democratic Party to bring his amendment over the line .
We find a Lincon who is a bland mystic at times , but shrewd manipulator ,who sails quite close to the wind of political propriety- but is sure footed and cunningly ethical .
Day Lewis is Lincon : the Lincon who presides over Capitol Hill, whose portrait sits on coins and stamps -the man who'se zeal torments him so that he ages before your eyes as his war weary shoulders carry the agony and revulsion of the Civil war - a comment made to him in the later stages of the movie by General Grant,
His performance is superb throughout , so much so that you feel you've connected with the real Lincon -not with Lewis .
This is an epic tale of 3 short weeks during the civil war in which there is only one battle scene.
Lincoln's much quoted Gettysburg address , which Lincon based on a speech by the ancient Greek Commander / philosopher -Pericles  , strangely is omitted . It is narrated , however by three different soldiers -2 whites and a black to Lincon when he visits a battlefield at  Gettysberg .
 Lincon's oration is reputedly given at the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg.Vicksburg - Why Speilberg does this with one of the greatest speeches in history may have had something to do with the actual brevity of the speech itself -300 odd words. Maybe he uses it this way to intimate of things to come , as the black corporal imagines to Lincon ''a day , a 100 years from now when a black man could be an officer in the US army.
 Pericles -the most prominent and influential Greek statesmen, orator, and general of Athens during the city's Golden Age gives his famous oration which is equally brief.
 The Pericles  address referred to as- Pericles's Funeral Oration begins  "I shall begin with our ancestors: it is both just and proper that they should have the honour of the first mention on an occasion like the present"; He then praises the uniqueness of the State's commitment to democracy..'' Somilarly to Lincon's speech  it lasts lasts roughly 3 minutes.
The similarities , or indeed where Mr Lincon may have got his inspiration can not easily be dismissed
There have been many allusions to Obama's presidency and his 2 battles in the field and his constant battle with the Republican party , who try to thwart him at every turn- Lincon is also in his second term - but the let the parallels end there and sit back -let Speilberg do the driving .
Day -Lewis is truly mesmerizing at times in this movie , otherwise he is -just flawless .
If any scenes are ' stolen ' from him it would be in his encounters with Tommy Lee Jones , who has deservedly the last potent and powerful scene .
Sally Fields is a contained diminutive H-bomb , too demure to distract her husband , but is a powerhouse nonetheless who strains to the creases on her neck to stay with Day Lewis - and she succeeds.
It Deserves ;
Best Actor- Day -Lewis
Best Supporting actor - Lee Jones or Sally Fields
Best Scriptwriters
Best Director .
What else can I say
Best Movie !
Go and see it

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