As a film buff and political history junkie, I *really* enjoyed Lincolnon both levels. I was a bit nervous about the tone because at his worst Spielberg’s film can be treacly and saccharine. BUT the film captured the rollicking, melancholy and devious complexity of the real Lincoln, Daniel Day-Lewis checked his hammy impulses at the door and disappeared into the role so I gotta give this latest opus a big thumbs up/4 stars/A kinda notice.
Comparisons to our current body politic (corpus delicti?) are inevitable. It’s no surprise that I’m pretty sure that Lincoln would be a moderate Democrat nowadays. He was a reasonable man who believed in progress and science and wasn’t big on organized religion. The Tea Party would primary the hell out of him or anyone else who supported the 13th Amendment. If it’s not in the original Constitution, fuck it, they’d say.
Speaking of Confederates neo and old school: Southern pols haven’t changed at all. Veteran character actor Jackie Earle Haley plays CSA Veep Alexander Stephens who leads the least covert “secret” peace delegation ever. Despite the fact that the Confederates are losing the war on the battlefield, he presents a list of demands, which go nowhere. The C in CSA did not stand for compromise, after all. It reminds me of certain party that lost a national election that centered on tax policy insisting that it’s their way or the highway. Speaker Boner may be an Ohioan but the GOP is Confederate to its core.
Anyway, go see the flick, which also features great turns by Tommy Lee Jones, David Strathairn, Sally Field and James Spader. A special commendation goes to Walton Goggins of The Shield and Justified who is known for playing crazy-eyed, homicidal villains. In Lincoln, he plays-get ready-a spineless pussy of a Congressman who’s undecided on the anti-slavery 13th Amendment. Nice to see him cast against type: Boyd Crowder would have caused some serious mayhem but this dude wobbled and waffled before caving at the end.
Let’s end with some Goggins before and after pictures: