Director Steven Spielberg brings the last four months of Abraham Lincoln's life into this focused historical epic that had been long in the works.

As the Civil War comes to an end, and shortly after Lincoln has won re-election, the president is faced with the process of abolishing slavery with his workings to pass the 13th Amendment through a very divided and partisan House of Representatives. The genuine concern of this issue is palpable through the screen.

The film serves not only as a political drama, but a deep character study of the Lincoln family through the turmoil of war, political impasse and the serious emotional impact of life in the White House. At two and a half hours long, the film has a steadied and deliberate pace that certainly doesn't rush, but is certainly more concerned with maintaining both interest and reveal.

Spielberg re-teams with former Munich collaborators: cinematographer Janusz Kaminski, editor Michael Kahn, screenwriter Tony Kushner and composer John Williams. They were all nominated for Academy Awards for their work on Lincoln. The production design, costume design and editing are absolutely remarkable, as big-budget historical epics rely on the excelled success of depicting the past, telling a story out of time, and making it feel and look accurate. Lincoln succeeds in a great manor.

When it comes down to the film, however, more than Spielberg's directing, the impact of the film relies on the layered and masterful performances of its actors. Daniel Day-Lewis obviously won his third Best Actor Oscar for his role as the president. He is a powerhouse throughout the whole film, yet, in his chameleon way, he strives for the restrained dignity and humanism of his character. However, David Straitharn, Tommy Lee Jones, Sally Field, John Hawkes, and Hal Holbrook all give absolutely masterful veteran performances as well. James Spader and Joseph Gordon-Levitt also deliver noteworthy performances. This is clearly an ensemble film cast and finished by the hands of a master.

The dark, brooding look and feel of the film is paired perfectly with its serious, conversational tone. This is yet another masterwork from Spielberg, which, at this point in his career, his audience never expects anything less.

I watched part of the film on my laptop and the second half through my Playstation on the big screen. The streaming was clear and the sound was even better, probably not as good as the Blu-ray release, but it didn't disappoint. The nuances of the accents and the breaths between the speeches and stories are affecting and rousing.

Great film, highly recommended. One of the few films I had no qualms paying as much as I used to at the video store to watch. I would love to re-watch in Blu-ray, which always says something about a film that is worthy to view multiple times.

Synopsis: An inspiring drama that focuses on Lincoln's final four months
Starring: Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field
Supporting actors: Hal Holbrook, James Spader, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tommy Lee Jones
Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Runtime: 2 hours 30 minutes
Captions and Subtitles: English Details
Release year: 2012
Studio: DreamWorks


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