Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Lincoln (2012)

Academy Awards, USA 2013

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Daniel Day-Lewis
Best Achievement in Production Design
Rick Carter (production designer)
Jim Erickson (set decorator)
Best Motion Picture of the Year
Steven Spielberg
Kathleen Kennedy
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Tommy Lee Jones
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Sally Field
Best Achievement in Directing
Steven Spielberg
Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay
Tony Kushner
Best Achievement in Cinematography
Janusz Kaminski
Best Achievement in Film Editing
Michael Kahn
Best Achievement in Costume Design
Joanna Johnston
Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score
John Williams
Best Achievement in Sound Mixing
Andy Nelson
Gary Rydstrom
Ron Judkins

Touchstone Pictures
Directed by Steven Spielberg
My rating: 3 stars out of 4
IMDb Wikipedia
(Blu-ray, DreamWorks)

In the early days of Lincoln's second term, the Civil War is winding down and he intends to pass the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution ending slavery before readmitting the southern states. In order to garner enough votes in the House of Representatives, he must convince highly skeptical and occasionally outright hostile Congressmen to vote for it. He essentially bribes a few with offers of jobs in his new administration, but with others must appeal to their dubious moral ground. He gets considerable help from the influential Thaddeus Stevens, leader of the Radical Republicans and fervent abolitionist, played to perfection by Tommy Lee Jones. His wife gives him moral support at home, but her mental stability leads to other problems. There are moments of great joy when the Amendment passes after a suspenseful vote, but they are soon tempered by the president's untimely assassination. The politics can be dense and you might want to hone up on your history before watching, but Spielberg gives it his usual slick production values, perhaps a little too slick at times.

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