Sunday, November 25, 2012

Lincoln Review

Okay, I saw this movie on Friday, but it's taken me a couple of days to really sit down and write this review. I know it's only my third review, and I don't want to freak anyone out by changing up the format, but frankly, a list of things I liked and didn't like doesn't do this movie justice. Even though I really love movies, like, a lot, and I think that they're one of the highest modern art forms, I try to approach them with an excited attitude and not take everything so seriously - hence, the silly lists. But Lincoln... I'm almost certain that this movie is going to be added to the American film canon one day. It was totally incredible.

Spoilers ahead, if you've never cracked open a history book.

This year, I've been on a mission to see every movie which could potentially be nominated for Best Picture, Best Lead/Supporting Actor/Actress, Best Director, or Best Screenplay. It's been a pretty difficult process, and my list of movies that I still need to see is about a mile long. I don't claim to be some kind of expert, and I have yet to see some of the other big names, like The Master, Life of Pi, Silver Linings Playbook, Les Mis, or The Hobbit. But I will be shocked - SHOCKED - if this movie is not nominated for at least five of the aforementioned awards. The directing and cinematography were fantastic, and even though it wasn't my favorite movie of the year, it's the most likely of the ones I've seen to win Best Picture.
The most powerful part of the film, though, was definitely the actors' performances. I don't think there was a single average performance in the whole movie. Every actor, even the most minor, seemed to fully embody their role. It got to the point where I wasn't even sure I was watching a movie anymore - I thought a camera crew had traveled back in time and actually filmed these events. I didn't even recognize James Spader or Jared Harris. Lee Pace was perfect (but maybe I'm just saying that because I love Lee Pace. WE'LL NEVER KNOW.)
But the trifecta, of course, was Tommy Lee Jones, Sally Field, and Daniel Day-Lewis. Can I just say, OH MY GOD. These people are wizards, okay? WIZARDS. Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln stole any scene that she was in - the scene where she and Lincoln were fighting about her grief over their son was amazing. How did she do that?? And Tommy Lee Jones was so great as Thaddeus Stevens. He was by far my favorite character in the whole film. Daniel Day-Lewis, though. Daniel Freaking Day-Lewis. I don't understand how he does this stuff. I don't understand how he can so perfectly embody these roles. Is he a shapeshifting reptilian? Some would say, probably. I just think he's one of the greatest actors working today and his Lincoln was probably as close to the real thing as we're ever going to get.
Now, I've never been a big fan of historical dramas. I get bored with them pretty easily - I much prefer flights of fancy and things that I can use to escape the real world, and all this stuff already happened. I'm also not the biggest fan of Lincoln. Sure, he was an interesting man and a pretty good president, if a little bit of a statist. I've never really been cool with the whole "I'm gonna force you to vote for me" thing. But this movie got me so involved. When the 13th Amendment was passed, and everyone was freaking out and crying, I was crying too, but with a smile on my face. But when Tommy Lee Jones took the piece of paper home to his wife and she read it, I was sobbing. There was no damn smile on my face. I could not take the emotions!!
If you don't see Lincoln, you are doing yourself a disservice. This movie is spectacular. Part of the reason it took me two days to write this review was because I couldn't find words to describe this film. Seriously, GO SEE LINCOLN. RIGHT NOW. GO. 10/10 AND DON'T YOU FORGET IT.

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