Lincoln is a 2012 American epic historical drama film directed by Steven Spielberg, starring Daniel Day-Lewis as United States President Abraham Lincoln. The film also features Sally Field, David Strathairn, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, James Spader, Hal Holbrook, and Tommy Lee Jones in supporting performances. The screenplay by Tony Kushner was loosely based on Doris Kearns Goodwin’s biography Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, and covers the final four months of Lincoln’s life, focusing on the President’s efforts in January 1865 to have the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution passed by the United States House of Representatives.
The film was produced by Spielberg and frequent collaborator Kathleen Kennedy, through their respective production companies, Amblin Entertainment and the Kennedy/Marshall Company. Filming began October 17, 2011, and ended on December 19, 2011. Lincoln premiered on October 8, 2012 at the New York Film Festival. The film was co-produced by DreamWorks Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox, and Participant Media, and released theatrically by Touchstone Pictures in North America on November 9, 2012. The film was distributed by Fox in international territories.
Lincoln received widespread critical acclaim, with major praise directed to the acting, especially Day-Lewis’ performance, as well as the direction and production merits. In December 2012, the film was nominated for seven Golden Globe Awards including Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Director for Spielberg and winning Best Actor (Motion Picture – Drama) for Day-Lewis. At the 85th Academy Awards, the film was nominated for twelve Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director; it won for Best Production Design and Best Actor for Day-Lewis. The film was also a commercial success, grossing over $275 million at the box office.
There were a lot of people that really hated this movie when it came out, not the critics but the general filmgoers, a lot of them thought the movie was lame and too Oscar baity and as somebody who has complained about their being too many Oscar bait films out there, this movie is definitely one of the lesser Oscar bait films but in a good way. There are moments that go overboard on the Oscar bait clichés but really, the movie does work on its’ own merits.
Daniel Day-Lewis gives yet another great performances as Lincoln and it helps that he also has an incredible cast to work with, Sally Field, Tommy Lee Jones, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Gloria Reuben, James Spader, Adam Driver, David Oyelowo, Jared Harris, David Straithairn, Bruce McGill, Lee Pace, and many more.
The visual look of the film is nicely done, capturing the spirit and the feel of the 1860s, the music by John Williams is very good, the script is okay not spectacular.
There is a lot about Lincoln to appreciate, the acting is great, the music is great, the visuals are nicely done, the story could use some work definitely but overall, Lincoln actually has a lot to admire, wouldn’t say it’s Spielberg’s greatest film as a director but it’s one that I think is one of the better Oscar bait films out there.