November 18, 2012

Critical Capsule: Lincoln

As I left the theater the first thing to jumped in my mind was a question. Where we're the vampires? I could have sworn this supposed to have some real bloodsuckers in it. Sadly, the closest thing I got were some grimy politicians. After realizing I was mixing the wrong genres, the next thought that came to me was that it was definitely better than Warhorse, that movie may have had some nice cinematography but I was not all that good. Anyway, I walked out of Lincoln knowing I saw a good movie and also knowing that was not quite as enamored with it as many seem to be.

In recent years, I have been very skeptical of overtly politically themed movies. Be they based on fact, like this or The Conspirator, or fictional works, like Lions for Lambs, I always suspect am ulterior motive. I cannot say I actually sensed any with Lincoln, but politics are also not something I am terribly knowledgeable about.

Lincoln proved to be an interesting movie, but I felt it came off a little flat. The movie settled into an even pace and never deviated, there was never any variation. I don't know, but there was a distinct lack of ebb and flow.

It is an interesting movie, but not so much for the politicking going on. Although, it was different to see Lincoln as a man not above playing the game and buying votes with job positions and favors. A lot of Lincoln is talking, debates and arguments concerning the 13th Amendment. Anyway, the most interesting thing about this movie is Daniel Day Lewis.

There are few people who disappear into a role like Day Lewis does. He just goes away and all you see is the character. His Lincoln is soft spoken, intelligent, determined, and quite funny. He also loves to tell stories, it seems that he is just as likely to use a parable as he is to tell you straight up. It is a captivating performance and the main reason to see the movie.

I may not love the movie and do not feel I got much more insight into the man, but the movie does have its good points. It has a surprising amount of humor, is shot beautifully by Janusz Kaminski, and the time just sort of flows easily by. It is definitely worth seeing.


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