Steven Spielberg helms his long-in-the-making biopic of Abraham Lincoln for DreamWorks and Touchstone Pictures. Daniel Day-Lewis portrays the former head of state in the Tony Kushner-penned adaptation of Doris Kearns Goodwin's book Team of Rivals, which chronicles the President's time in office between 1861 and 1865 as he dealt with personal demons and politics during the Civil War. Sally Field leads a co-starring cast that includes Tommy Lee Jones, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Academy Award nominee John Hawkes. ~ Jeremy Wheeler, Rovi
Director: Steven Spielberg
Cast: Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, Tommy Lee Jones, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Hal Holbrook
Release Date: Nov 09, 2012
Rated PG-13 for intense Scene of War Violence, Brief Strong Language and Some Images of Carnage
Runtime: 2 hr. 29 min.
Steven Spielberg’s Oscar bait biopic of Lincoln is that rare features that portrays history honestly with as little sentimentally, for a Spielberg film at least, as possible. At its center it’s a cornucopia of wonderful dialogue performed by some of the finest actors work in the business. In the title role, Daniel Day Lewis once again loses himself utterly and totally into Honest Abe’s skin. It’s not as showy a role as you think; instead it’s a testament to nuance and restraint. Lewis displays his talent to emote a range of emotions through his face and eyes, giving us a look into the man’s heart and soul with only a few rare “splash” scenes. Sally Field surprises with her turn as Mary Todd Lincoln. She gives her an emotionally broken depth that’s palpable, building to a masterful climatic scene with Lewis that gives us a glimpse into the relationship and dynamic. Tommy Lee Jones, even more bulldogged faced than usual, is appropriately sarcastic and single minded in his pursuit of true equality. James Spader and John Hawkes supply some needed levity as a pair of fixers working to “convince” opposition party members to change their mind on the vote. Spielberg keeps to the entire thing together working with restraint and tact throughout. Certain scenes feel like moments from stage plays as watch characters give speeches and pontificate about large issues. Spielberg is able to make it engrossing and engaging, an appropriate tribute to a great leader.