OPINION: MOVIE REVIEW: Lincoln. Starring Daniel Day Lewis, Sally Field, David Strathairn, Tommy Lee Jones' Directed by Stephen Spielberg
In 1865, the nascent United States of America is embroiled in civil war. The country is in chaos over slavery and it falls to the president of the time - Abraham Lincoln - to not only find a way to end the war, but also slavery.
No mean feat for any one man, but Lincoln, of course, is one of those men in history who comes along at exactly the right time to really shake the foundations.
The 13th Amendment to the Constitution - the abolition of slavery - was the platform that Lincoln built much of his reputation - and his presidency - on.
The movie Lincoln focuses on that small yet pivotal slice of time in Abraham Lincoln's life.
Daniel Day Lewis - who makes one movie about every seven years - plays Lincoln to very great effect.
Day Lewis is known for doing massive amounts of research for roles and sinking himself into them, and it plays perfectly here as he not so much takes on the persona of Abraham Lincoln as absorbs it and puts it out there for the world to see.
His performance is truly the best thing about the whole movie.
He carries it - and the history associated with the time period - pretty effortlessly and it really is always a joy to watch him on screen.
Sally Field makes her mark as Mary Todd Lincoln, a small but telling role of the life of Mrs Lincoln. Tommy Lee Jones, David Strathairn and James Spader also carve out enough of the movie for their own roles to be memorable.
But make no mistake, it's not really an ensemble piece. The film stands or falls entirely on the shoulders of Day Lewis.
If anything, Lincoln is a shade long, and it's very, very "talky".
If I'm sucked into a movie, I can sit through two-and-a-half hours of nearly anything, but the sheer level of constant conversation in Lincoln did test my movie-loving heart a little bit. However, I did leave the theatre determined to be a better person.
- The Southland Times