I love Steven Spielberg, I love Daniel Day-Lewis, but I do not love this movie. In fact, I don’t even like it. While Day-Lewis is astoundingly good in the title role, the movie around him is a drab, lifeless retelling of the final days of Abraham Lincoln’s life. Spielberg makes this a darkened room political potboiler, chronicling how Lincoln and his staff managed to get slavery abolished in the waning days of the Civil War. Sally Field is cast as Lincoln’s troubled wife. While Mary Todd’s plight deserves a movie of its own, it’s not given much consideration here, nor is the life of Lincoln’s eldest son (an utterly wasted Joseph Gordon-Levitt). The movie’s final act treats the death of Lincoln like a strange afterthought. They would’ve been better off ending the film before his assassination. I expect Day-Lewis to be in the Oscar hunt. He could actually win for this movie, a film that doesn’t live up to his magnificence.

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