Basically, this is being one great history lesson! And it's also a very welcome one, since it's an absolute fact most people will have no interest in reading any books or watching any documentaries, regarding this movie its subject. So in that regard this movie is also being a very relevant and important one, about a piece of history that changed and formed America.

You need to realize one thing; this is not a biopic about Abraham Lincoln, even though its title still would suggest otherwise. The movie its main focus is Lincoln's efforts to pass in the United States house of representatives the thirteenth amendment to the United States constitution that would formally abolish slavery in the country. So you could say it's more of a political movie than anything else really! There are very large portions of this movie in which Lincoln isn't present at all.

The movie still does a good job at humanizing Lincoln. He's not just a movie character or an embodiment of the Lincoln we all are familiar with and accustomed to seeing in movies normally but he truly gets depicted as a real human, with human flaws and emotions to him. Of course it helps a tremendous lot he gets played by Daniel Day-Lewis, who never just plays a character but truly commits himself to a project and his character.

Still the biggest key as to why the movie works out as well as it does is because it's being a subtle and humble movie. Sure, it's all about an important piece of history but it never puts the emphasis on the gravity and importance of it all, by going over-the-top, or by exaggerating things. This even shows with the John Williams musical score, that's mostly playing in the background and never gets to the foreground to needlessly and forcefully make things dramatic or heavy, with the exception of one or two moments, which suited the movie well by the way. Guess Spielberg has learned from some of his previous recent dramatic productions, such as "War Horse", "Amistad" and to some extend also "Munich".

And since it's a more subtle movie, it's also more pleasant to follow, even though the movie basically in essence is just about a bunch of old men bickering and insulting each other with fancy words. It all works out fascinating due to the way it got written and brought to the screen. It's interesting to see to process, of passing the thirteenth amendment and how political games are played by certain representatives, with each their different own motives for being all for or against the proposition. For that reason alone this is already being a must-see for those who enjoy and appreciate good political movies.

And there really are plenty of other reason as well, why the majority of people should be able to like and appreciate this movie. Besides its fine acting and writing, it also is a great one to look at. I feel that the movie did a great job at recreating the atmosphere of 1865's America, down to the littlest detail. You should of course also thank cinematography Janusz Kaminski, for providing the movie with a great and strong look!

So whether you enjoy great film-making, storytelling or acting, this is a wonderful movie for you to watch!


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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