Harken back to 1865, when the Civil War is raging through the nation. Abe Lincoln was president, struggling to officially free the slaves. Though most know the basics of Lincoln through history classes, Lincoln gives an insider's view to how the politics of the country may have worked.
Lame Ducks are bribed, offered jobs if they are willing to vote a certain way. People are encouraged to support their political party, or even switch political parties, to gain favor. All of this, of course, goes on behind the scenes, away from the public eye, done with simple handshakes, a smile and nod.
The President is played by Daniel Day-Lewis, and his wife, Mary Todd, is played by Sally Field. Only some of Mary Todd's rumored problems were portrayed in the movie. It would have been nice to see Sally Field stretch her wings to fly further in that roll, as given her performance on Brothers and Sisters, she is more than capable of portraying a woman on the brink struggling to hold it together.
The movie is more of a history lesson. There is action and a few gruesome scenes, such as when body parts from soldiers are dumped into a massive hole, which causes Abe's son Robert, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, to shake enough to not be able to roll a cigarette. Symbolism is artfully done, and can even bring a tear to the eye, such as when the church bell ring in unison; “let freedom ring.”
With the movie being a little longer than most, little ones may not want to sit still for the entire show. You may find yourself adjusting your position in your seat, or find appendages falling asleep. Thus, this is a movie that could wait for video; as the graphics are decent, but not amazing to the point that one would want to rush out to see it in a theatre to get the full effect.
Overall, it is a moving feature, not a full-fledged tear jerker, but pretty close at times. Viewers connect with the characters, and it is exciting to put a face to names heard in history books. Though it is very informative, it almost borders on dry, school learning type of material at times, but then it quickly gets back into the action, keeping viewers involved the whole time.
It is nice to see a movie that peppers in historical facts with the storyline. The movie is based on real people and actual events. While the historical plot moves people forward, the characters are engaging, with a host of talented individuals making appearances, so this very important history lesson is absorbed into the minds of viewers in a way that is appealing to a wide variety of people.
History is full of blood and scandal. This film is both informative and entertaining. Any history buff would like the insider's view of the storyline, but those not so into history will also be entertained.
As we soon approach 150 years, this film is a vivid reminder of the not-so-distant past. Things have changed over a century and a half. Some of what was scandalous back in the day is almost laughable now, save for the fact that one must remember the past actually happened, and it took time for change.
For more information, visit www.thelincolnmovie.com.
Marisa Williams is the author of 100 books. She earned her Master's in Writing at the Johns Hopkins University. For more on Marisa, visit www.lulu.com/spotlight/thorisaz and www.wix.com/thorisaz/photography.