Dressed in black and wearing a stovepipe hat, there is the president and leader of the Union during the Civil War. Abraham Lincoln's shoulders are hunched, no doubt, from the many burdens he had to bear during those chaotic years. This well-done biopic covers the period from his re-election in 1864 through his assassination in 1865. The film has been adapted by screenplay writer Tony Kushner from a book on the political genius of Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin.
Daniel Day-Lewis (right) puts in a stellar performance as the besieged and exhausted president who is trying to bring the war to an end and pass the 13th Amendment to abolish slavery. Lincoln faces fierce opposition by bigoted Democrats in the House of Representatives as well as conservative Republicans of his own party. Equally draining are his personal problems with his troubled wife Mary (Sally Fields) and his alienated older son (Joseph Gordon-Levitt).
Thanks to Steven Spielberg's skillful direction, we find ourselves drawn into the political maneuvers of those times. It's fascinating to see what it really took to secure Lincoln's legacy as the "Great Emancipator" (Universal, PG-13 — intense scene of war violence, brief strong language).
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