The key to Lincoln
isn’t in the performance of Daniel Day-Lewis, though his work should win him an Oscar, and it’s not in its army of older white character actors, though they’re all well cast and as good as ever. The key to Lincoln
is in its clever choice of subject matter that’s able to paint the beloved President as more of a conniving schemer who broke the rules for the greater good than the unquestioned saint most of us learned about as children in elementary school. By focusing on the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment, it narrows the gigantic scope of Lincoln’s life and is able to introduce us to the supporting characters who colored and shaped his life.
is about fifteen minutes too long and has a few moments that don’t exactly work, but as a whole, it’s a moving, well-constructed masterpiece interested in the details and specifics of an extremely important moment in the history of the United States. Honest Abe might not be the legend we grew up with here, but in a way, he’s even better.