BY ARIANA POTICHNYJ
In my academic neck of the woods (American Studies), Abraham Lincoln is like if The Beatles, Jesus, and Michael Jordan circa-Space Jam had a baby. One does not talk smack about Honest Abe around anyone who knows the slightest thing about America. And I mean America as in like, liberty, justice, and the pursuit of happiness, not just yelling “Fuck Yeah” after nouns (but that’s also fun).
If I were to look into my Academy Awards crystal ball, I would see a lot of Confederate flags and a lot of wicked awesome beards. This movie sweeps in cinematic beauty, a tasteful portrayal of a war-torn country, and I’m always amazed at how powerful a Spielberg silence can be. But to make sure I’m not spoiling, look out for the scene with Joseph Gordon-Levitt following a wheelbarrow. Man, that must sound so unrelated: slavery, abolition, Civil War, that guy from 3rd Rock From the Sun chasing gardening equipment.
Now, Daniel Day-Lewis and Sally Field did remarkable jobs and I can definitely see some potential golden trophies in their futures. They address a lot about the President’s personal history (loss of a child, nearly sending his wife to the asylum for being sad, but no whoring — definitely did not see a single prostitute in this flick, nor vampire, for that matter). But I’ve got to say that Tommy Lee Jones’ Thaddeus Stevens really stole the show with his deliveries. And while we’re on the subject of deliveries, here’s something I never thought I’d say: Lincoln’s got jokes. Several of them. This movie actually manages to make you laugh for a good portion of it.
When I say that, I do mean ‘good portion’ lightly. I mean, there is only so much room for giggling when you’ve got all this racism to juggle while also being the president of the United States, in the past.
And now I can hear you saying, “But Ariana, this is Titanic all over again! I know how Lincoln’s life ended! He got shot! In the head!” and I would be incorrect in telling you otherwise. Lincoln does, indeed, get shot in the head. But I still wept. Everyone knows that Lincoln put an end to slavery, but the movie still makes you hold your breath as they vote. Spielberg doesn’t show you American history; he’s making you live through it. And it’s one giant star-spangled roller coaster of emotions.
You should definitely pencil Lincoln into that busy schedule of yours. Sure, it skips out on all that infamous whorin’ that … that nearly every US president is known for, actually. Regardless! This movie was too busy preparing to accept every Oscar that it’s going to be nominated for. So grab your stovepipe hats and head to the theatre! (But I would not recommend a box seat).
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