|Daniel Day-Lewis, National Treasure.|
If you haven't guessed by now, Daniel Day-Lewis is pretty much the definition of a true actor. He picks his roles at his discretion, and spends months getting prepared for a role. He is the definition of a "method actor", and he's given some of the best performances of anyone's career, perhaps any career at all, over the years. I didn't think he could top 2007's "There Will Be Blood", but he does here with Lincoln.
Lincoln is a masterpiece anchored by the phenomenal performance by Lewis. His performance is so central to the rest of the film that it outshines some of the films weaker aspects, and there are several. But we'll get to that.
The film opens with a scene that sent chills down my spine. After a very vivid war scene, two African-american soldiers are scene talking to Lincoln. Two white soldiers then appear, and they all take turns reciting Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. From there the film takes place during the final four months of Lincoln's life, and centers around the amazing behind-the-scenes story of what it took to get the 13th amendment passed. Through all of this, we are given a true vision of how Lincoln really was. And from every book I've read, and documentary I've seen on this man growing up and being a mild history buff (you can't live in the state of Illinois without learning a ton about this man), I can say that Daniel Day - Lewis is pretty much living as a reincarnated Abraham Lincoln on screen through this. If he doesn't win an Oscar for this role, it is the greatest disservice the Academy will ever make.
Putting that aside, the film itself has other weaknesses. Noticeably, Sally Field, who although isn't as bad as I've read from other people, she isn't really too great in her role either. While she certainly fit the age group for the role, she really doesn't do much with it. I also have to throw out that while I love and adore Tommy Lee Jones, here he is playing nothing more then a Grumpy Old Men impersonation. I guess the film needed some humor though.
But at the end of the day, it boils down to one thing: Daniel Day-Lewis. And here, he shines brighter then he ever has.
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