Frankly, I didn’t know there were so many look-alike white men in the world of cinema. All droning on and on in an historical drama that was bereft of drama and, I suspect, lacking in a bit of historical accuracy as well.
Black people were “allowed” to sandwich this dreary film – as if they had played just the smallest bit part in achieving the 13th amendment. At the start, two African-American soldiers chat with Lincoln, establishing Lincoln as a sweetie; at the end, his black valet stares at his back as Lincoln sets out for an evening of getting killed. In between it is white men screaming at each other, hating on each other, manipulating each other in the legislature. I could have saved myself a few bob by staying home and turning on C-Span (live coverage of the Congress).
The music was dirge-like from start to finish, making the tedious experience feel even more sodden. Somehow it seemed like Lincoln was playing Daniel Day Lewis, not the other way around. In any case, Daniel Day Lewis appeared to be sporting a hump prosthesis. The press has already lauded him for being able to speak in Lincoln’s high squeaky voice: I was sorry he kept it up so well as the grating noise interrupted my nap. The only woman in the film who featured for more than a second or two was Lincoln’s wife. The role was given to Sally Field for her experience in crying for the camera and in looking bummed out.
What with all the big guns involved, you’d think we’d get at least a bit of entertainment instead of these ugly men fighting over the end of the civil war vs. the end of slavery. Steven Spielberg directed, but perhaps he was on Quaaludes or something; Tony Kushner based his monotonous screenplay on a book by Doris Kearns Goodwin; and the 5-Oscar winning composer John Williams honed “dreary” to perfection.
And now to defend myself. I had gone to the movie house with the intention of seeing Anna Karenina but the heat wasn’t working in that viewing room and Lincoln was starting in another room right at the same time. I saw it by accident – the kind of accident there isn’t insurance for. I am 65 years old and Spielberg wasted about four hours (counting travel) of my ever-shortening life. I’m not angry: I’m furious.