Lincoln or Oscars: The Film is the little story of some nobody named Abraham Lincoln who tried to do something while something else was happening. But instead of focusing on the big something that was happening, the film focuses on the little something that was happening that was actually bigger than the big something happening. Abraham Lincoln stars as Daniel Day-Lewis; a successful actor who attempts to play Abraham Lincoln in a film biopic of his own life. I think.
Steven Spielberg (Saving Private Ryan, Schindler’s List) is back at his best and it’s obvious to see why. It’s reported that Spielberg spent 12 years researching for the film and deciding to focus solely on the passing of the 13th Amendment was a brilliant decision. By looking at such a small part at the end of Abraham Lincoln’s life we can start to understand the effects that his Presidency has had on his overall life. How it has caused a rift between him and his wife, how it has left him grieving for the loss of his son and how the guilt of war has forced him into getting the Amendment passed at any cost. And finally, this is all captured excellently by Daniel Day-Lewis.
After all, the film is essentially a human drama. A good portion of the film contains characters sitting around and talking and yet this never becomes dull or tedious. The dialogue is fantastically informative and still manages to bring character to every scene. There is a perfect blend of humour, tension and drama throughout the film. The costumes and sets capture the gritty period and the cinematography does fantastically well at showing a dark America on the verge of the moving into the light.
Does it deserve 12 Oscar nominations? Probably not. Is it Oscar bait? Of course it is. Is it worth watching? Definitely.