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An absolutely stunning piece of film-making.,
le 20 avril 2015
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I love films that aim to illuminate and portray a period in history as accurately as they can. Lincoln is a prime example of this and while I fully understand that this film can be experienced as an overlong dull affair, to me it is a historical drama that ticks practically all boxes.
Let's get the obvious out of the way. Daniel Day Lewis's performance is stellar. The level of dedication he brings to his roles is awe-inspiring and here he does something extraordinary. He gives character and humanity to someone that only exists on paper. There is a certain collective awareness of what kind of man Lincoln was and Day Lewis taps into that with astounding conviction. There was always the risk that Lincoln would be turned into a mythical character and even though at points it felt like that was going to happen, it never goes out of bounds making Lincoln very human indeed.
The supporting cast is amazing, with Tommy Lee Jones giving one of his most impressive performances ever. I was also very impressed with Sally Field. She has a tough role and she injects it with intelligence and a powerful fierceness. She matches Day Lewis in every scene they share.
My worries around Spielberg directing it were thankfully unfounded. I hated War Horse and was very afraid that this would travel the same route. It didn't. At all. It is a classic film with a classic touch and I actually found it surprisingly devoid of the usual manipulations used by Spielberg. I think he was dedicated to making an accurate film about one of the most pivotal moments in American history. His attention to detail in everything on display is second to none and his handling of much of the material is stunning.
But the absolute star of this film is Tony Kushner's script. He has crafted an authentic narrative centered around not so much the character of Lincoln, but around his attempts to pass the thirteenth amendment. It comes with absolutely stunning dialogue, with a couple of monologues that, especially being delivered by a cast as good as this, are simply breathtaking in how beautifully they are written. I've used this word a couple of times before, it's all about dedication. This is a dedicated script. It has no other intention than to tell this story in the best way possible and it succeeds admirably.