By Henry Slater
For me, Steven Spielberg can be a little hit or miss. The dramatic lighting, the epic cinematography, and the inspirational score are only a few common qualities of his films that make me immediately want to turn off the television.
“Lincoln” is a clear exception to this usual style. Spielberg was not trying to go over the top here. He successfully made a straightforward story of Abraham Lincoln’s second term in office, and the passing of the 13th Amendment, based on Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book, “A Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln.”
The story was not by any means dull. Through several different techniques, such as simplified editing and cinematography, Spielberg really captured the idea of Lincoln being a simple, but brilliant man.
Of course, at least 50 percent of the credit for capturing that attitude can be given to Daniel Day-Lewis.
Day-Lewis did a wonderful job of acting the way most people do not think Abraham Lincoln was.
In actuality, he was a quiet, and even slightly timid person. When he spoke, his voice was soft, not deep and booming as the common belief goes.
Lewis captured Lincoln’s calm, collected attitude best with Lincoln’s love for story telling. The scenes in which Lincoln attempted to teach those around him some kind of life lesson through an obscure historical story are by far the best in the film.
They are comedic, sentimental, and they epitomize the techniques of simplified editing and cinematography that Spielberg was going for.
“Lincoln” really is a masterpiece. The directing and acting are faultless, and I will be in high anticipation of how it will do at the Oscars.
However, I will say that the film is definitely one to either read the book before hand, or see it twice. There is a huge amount of detail to pay attention to, and full attention is required to truly enjoy a movie like this one.