lincoln I have a feeling I might be in the minority with respect to what I am about to say…

But I was slightly underwhelmed by the experience!

Yes you heard me correctly. Do not get me wrong. It is a very well put together film with brilliant performances and it tells a very interesting story. But despite this, it was, well, just a little bit boring. I found myself looking at my watch about half way through thinking crumbs another hour and a half to go.

No I am not a Luddite that wants all action and no dialogue, honestly! It is just that the lasting impression of the film was long drawn out scenes of Lincoln anguishing over the issue of forcing through the Thirteenth Amendment to the constitution, rather than concentrating on the cut and thrust of the debates in Congress. The latter when it came, was riveting if somewhat short-lived.

Tommy Lee Jones was his usual charismatic self and Daniel Day-Lewis was unrecognisable as he turned in a brilliant performance that must have given his acting muscles a good workout. The cinematography was also excellent, providing a dark and smoke-filled backdrop to Lincoln’s deliberations.

Perhaps with all the hype I was unreasonably expecting more, it can easily happen. It is a good film with many excellent qualities. However I felt that it was either in need of leaner editing or more time devoted to the sparring of the Congressional debates.


2 thoughts on “Lincoln

  1. I think you’re very much on target with this film. It is admirable. It is intelligent and professionally polished, but perhaps too much so. You get the opinion that every utterance is known by the speaker to be a quote of historic significance and this self-consciousness (especially in the opening with the young soldier reciting the Gettysburg Address verbatim) often borders on the preposterous. While I admire and understand the approach taken to turn this occasion of history into an intimate- and therefore, in theory, more penetrating -chamber piece, I believe a greater film was ignored by not opening up the narrative a bit to put the historical actions and their immediate political and social consequences into sharper relief. How nice to hear from a critical voice unafraid to rise against the popular tide. Keep it up!

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