Lincoln – **

Posted: January 25, 2013 in 2012, biopic, Historical, Political, USA, War, XX

A tip: read up on your history before you go see Lincoln. Even if you think you know a lot about American history, institutions and politics, you’ll still have a tough time following this political tale of the most popular president of the USA. It’s not an easy biopic, it’s a political drama about the passing of an important amendment to end slavery. There are dozens of characters to focus on, there are plenty references to lesser known historical facts and it’s geographically challenging for those cinema goers who’ve never heard about states like Missouri.

This is probably the first movie that makes me regret not having read any reviews beforehand. If only someone had told me to refresh my knowledge of the era, I would have enjoyed it more. Spielberg just assumes the viewer knows the story, which millions in the world won’t. So again: google ’13th amendment’, ‘Lincoln’, ‘slavery’ and ‘civil war’ before you go see this movie. Then maybe, you’ll appreciate this movie as much as the academy of motion pictures, who give it 12 Ocar nominations.

I was not impressed. I understand Spielberg didn’t add an introduction, because that would only have made the movie longer (and it takes 150 minutes already). But why did he make it such a boring watch?  I missed action and humour. There’s only one battlefield scene (and it looks as if it could have been directed by anyone) and when Lincoln makes a funny remark, I heard nobody laugh, so it wasn’t that funny.  I felt like I was watching a stage play with dialogues that sound so theatrical that they are annoying. I’m sure Lincoln was a great speaker, but did he really talk to his wife, children and closest allies as if he was giving them a momentous speech every single time?

To be honest, the only Oscar it should win is ‘best costumes’. It’s nominated in several other categories and may probably win a few acting awards, but the best performer of the movie (David Strathairn) isn’t even nominated. Daniel Day Lewis is good, but not exceptional. Sally Field is great too. But why everyone is raving about Tommy Lee Jones’ performance is beyond my understanding. The directing isn’t exceptional either. Nor is the script. The music is not memorable. And all the make up artists had to do was glue fake beards on the actors. I was even disappointed in the set designs. But then again, there are no noteworthy sets to speak of. Unless you consider the House of Representatives an exciting setting.

It’s not a bad movie. It’s just leaves you indifferent, which couldn’t possible have been the aim of a great movie director like Spielberg.

I wish I had read this:

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