I just I spent one of the most enjoyable 150 minutes inside a movie theater in a long time. Spielberg’s Lincoln surpassed my expectations. No sugarcoating and none of the romanticizing of the beloved national icon that I was expecting from director Steven Spielberg.
Daniel Day-Lewis is the perfect Lincoln, but the biggest achievement is a movie mostly based on dialogue. And what a dialogue it was! Tony Kushner’s screenplay puts the English language at its best. Lincoln speaks with simple words, yet he is eloquent and at times even witty. During his lifetime the media ridiculed the president for his humble origins. The New York Herald described him as “a fourth-rate lecturer who cannot speak good grammar.” If there ever was a doubt about the brilliant mind behind the author of the Gettysburg Address, Spielberg certainly helped to set that record straight.
Lincoln received 12 Oscar and 7 Golden Globe nominations–quite an achievement. The film ends beautifully and shows Lincoln giving his second inaugural address. The speech has not lost relevance; nearly 150 years after his death, we all could take it to heart once more.
“With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds.”
I left the theater with a newly found appreciation not only for the 16th President of the United States, his leadership, and wisdom, but also with a renewed understanding of the Gettysburg Address.