Lincoln

I finally saw Lincoln yesterday and very much enjoyed it. I don’t have a particularly long attention span, and I often start to get bored when a movie passes the 100-minute mark. But even though this film is two and a half hours long, it flew by for me.

The combination of Tony Kushner’s words with Steven Spielberg’s visual direction was an interesting one that mostly worked. There were some middlebrow, emotionally heavyhanded Spielbergian moments, but not too many, and they were balanced out by Kushner’s complex, earthbound, well-crafted screenplay.

The acting is across-the-board terrific — and I hadn’t realized how many familiar faces were in this movie. More than once I had to rack my brain: “Who is that? I know I’ve seen them before.” Hello, Stephen Spinella and Julie White. And I had forgotten that Lee Pace, whom I adore, was in this, so it was a nice treat when he showed up on screen.

Daniel Day-Lewis, as usual, inhabits his role completely. He’s one of those actors who transforms himself with every part he plays. Sally Field gives Mary Todd Lincoln an unsettling, off-kilter energy. Tommy Lee Jones chews up the screen as the radical congressman Thaddeus Stevens — he’s so much fun to watch. David Strathairn as William Seward is also wonderful.

It’s a great movie. Go see it.

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