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The student newspaper of, by, and for Ames High School.

The WEB

The student newspaper of, by, and for Ames High School.

The WEB

Lincoln movie gets rating of 8.9 out of 10

Steven Spielberg is the acclaimed director/producer responsible for such masterpieces as Saving Private Ryan, Schindler’s List, and the Indiana Jones franchise. Obviously not a stranger to historical films, Spielberg’s most recent tour-de-force focuses on our beloved sixteenth president, Abraham Lincoln, and his quest to pass the Thirteenth Amendment, which abolished slavery. Personally, I am a very big fan of both Spielberg and Daniel Day-Lewis (There Will Be Blood, My Left Foot, Gangs of New York) who portrays Lincoln, so my expectations were very high for this film. Usually that mindset makes me very nervous when I watch a new film, because too much hype and expectation often leads to disappointment or unfulfillment. However, I was not the least bit disappointed by this film; I’m trying to find a flaw, but I’m coming up short. First of all, Daniel Day-Lewis gave easily one of the best performances I have ever seen him give. That’s saying alot considering he has given us some absolutely timeless performances. I really think he shined as Abraham Lincoln. Along with some of the funniest one-liners in the genre of historical biographies, Day-Lewis gives us much insight into Lincoln’s life and personality. I was able to see first-hand how the Civil War and the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment affected Lincoln, and I really grew attached to him throughout the film. Secondly, I think it would be a crime to not give any credit to the Steven Spielberg regular; director of photography, Janusz Kaminski. The cinematography in this film is stunning to say the least. There is a reason this man has won two Academy Awards and has been nominated for three others. The feeling and look of this film is so authentic that the 1860s never seemed so real. Oddly enough, some of the most entertaining scenes in this movie were those that involved the United States Congress and its constant bickering. The distaste that Republicans and Democrats had for each other back then is so strong, it almost seemed like how it is today. The scenes of Congress offer testimonies from both sides of the Thirteenth Amendment debate, and the scenes really offer Tommy Lee Jones a time to shine as an actor. I would recommend this film to not only lovers of history, but also lovers of cinema. It provides one with much historical information and insight as well entertainment on a number of levels. A top-notch screenplay with a top-notch performance by Daniel Day-Lewis (as well as Tommy Lee Jones, David Strathairn, Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Robert Lincoln) and top-notch directing; I think it would be impossible for me to not recommend this film to anyone. My overall rating of it is 8.9/10.

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