[critical] Lincoln

In a nation torn by civil war and shaken by the winds of change, Abraham Lincoln makes every effort to resolve the conflict, unify the country and abolish slavery.

Author’s Note


Release Date : January 30, 2013

Directed by Steven Spielberg

Movie, Indian , american

With Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, David Strathairn

Duration : 2h29min

Trailer :

The golden grandpa of american cinema is back, honoring her new rate of one film per year. But unlike his colleagues, Woody Allen and Claude Chabrol who were equally prolific, it does not simply turn the quick-and-dirty projects that would have deserved a longer development, or to repeat tirelessly the same film. He is constantly on the lookout for new projects and ripens slowly, in a submarine, up to its end which comes when it can (which often creates a very short period of time between 2 films, even big), sometimes 10 years after. This is the case here puiqsue the film is from a book, Team of Rivals, which was released in 2005, but for which Spielberg had bought the rights… before it is written (!), following a meeting with the author in 1999. He touched all genres, with varying success, to such an extent that one could wonder if it was the same director who had done what bad pop-corn movie and unnecessary sequel to Jurassic Park (The lost world), and the poignant drama in black and white about the Holocaust (Schindler’s List). This was again the case recently when he alternated between even a bad sequel, lazy and made for all the wrong reasons of the world (Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) with an animation film in 3D, superb modernisation of a myth to COMIC (The Adventures of Tintin : the Secret of the Unicorn).

Normally, this year, the alternation should be good, if one considers that man has rarely made 2 bad movies and his latest opus, a kind of “Little Pony is going to-t-ten-war”, which seems to have been made for the girls who dream of a unicorn, was an unbearable marshmallow (war Horse). Although his last attempt to treat the subject of slavery had not been a success (Amistad), the expectations were great. As in the title role, has a right to an interpretation of the all-too-rare Daniel Day-Lewis, who seems to specialize in the Nineteenth century after The time of innocence, Gangs of New York and almost There Will Be Blood.

Any resemblance to the current debate on gay marriage is purely… fun.

Contrary to appearances, the film is not a biopic, per se Lincoln (it focuses on too few years), nor is it a war film (of Secession, in this case, or a civil war as the locals call Us) since it serves only as a backdrop, sent to us by scraps, and morse code. Rather, the political manipulations, one discovers the small arrangements behind the scenes to enact a law abolishing slavery, which was at the heart of the president but who did not have the majority in the opinion (such as the abolition of the death penalty in us later). We learn that at the time, the Democrats were more reactionary than the Republicans and that it is them that had to be convinced to vote this law progressive (which required 2/3 of the votes of the congress).

Bill rather academic, this film is registered as a classic (with what it implies positive and negative) instant. Favorite in the Oscar race, it should meet a large success, as it seems to fulfill the conditions: great subject, the History with a large H, interpretation of top of the range (Daniel Day-Lewis is perfect, and special mention to the moumoute Tommy Lee Jones) and directed by very discreet. You remember The speech of a king ? As many arguments that make it a superb pretender to the rank of “film to show in schools.”

The most interesting in this film is that it resonates strangely with the news. You will discover a Lincoln follower of the storytelling (when it encounters an opponent, he sits down next to him and tells him an anecdote intended to make it change its opinion) that there is more political (who has not heard recently a story of pain au chocolat?). During the discussions, it refers to fierce opponents to shout loud and clear that give rights to Blacks is going to topple the american society and then ask what will happen next:

“And why not have a Black member?”

The poor bastard had not dared to say “president” but he must be turning in his grave.

“And then what, the right to vote for women?”

We touch the finger to the ridiculous arguments of those who want the others to have less rights than them. Any resemblance to the current debate on gay marriage is purely… fun. There is still time to change your mind before it can be presented as a square in a film in 2100.

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