LincolnBy http://profile.typepad.com/1237764140s22740 // November 12, 2012 in Movies, US History
There are so, so many things I love about the Lincoln movie, I hardly know where to begin.
It's an artfully realized parable not just about seizing but about having the imagination to shape opportunity. We watch Lincoln brood, argue, lobby and demand, propelled by the conviction that a lame duck Congress and the public perception of military necessity represents the only possible moment to get the 13th Amendment through the House of Representatives.
In one scene, at the War Department, bustling with activity and frustration as the news of the awful price of a military victory is telegraphed in from the field, the President suddenly declares himself, having been seated inconspicuously at a clerk's cubicle for some time.
The President has a story to tell.
The Secretary of War, mortified at the cost in lives of an incomplete victory, can't abide the surprise of Lincoln's presence and quits the room. "Dear God, not another story, I can't bear to hear another story," he shouts (or something to that effect) as he leaves.
Lincoln waits a beat, and then proceeds to tell a funny story about how Ethan Allen got the better of an English lord over the latter's placement in an outhouse of a portrait of George Washington. "It is most appropriately hung," Lincoln quotes Allen as saying. "Nothing makes the British shit like the sight of George Washington."
Lincoln has to move freely and to carry his own comic relief or the stresses will overtake him.
You see Lincoln draw what today we call "boundaries" with his wife and with his oldest son, also to preserve his capability to act decisively for the nation. It's almost unbelievable, how good Daniel Day-Lewis is at letting you see the wheels turn inside a character.
I'll stop for now. I definitely want to screen this movie again. You should see it. It's a very timely movie.