Summary: Steven Spielberg directs two-time Academy Award® winner Daniel Day-Lewis in LINCOLN, a revealing drama that focuses on the 16th President’s tumultuous final months in office. In a nation divided by war and the strong winds of change, Lincoln pursues a course of action designed to end the war, unite the country and abolish slavery. With the moral courage and fierce determination to succeed, his choices during this critical moment will change the fate of generations to come.
Australian Cinema Release Date: 31st January, 2013
Australian DVD Release Date: TBA
Director: Steven Spielberg
Screenwriter: Tony Kushner, Doris Kearns Goodwin (book)
Cast: Don Henderson Baker (Walter Appleton), Jim Batchelder (Howard Guillefoyle), Thomas K. Belgrey (Arthur Bentleigh), John Bellemer (Faust), Christopher Boyer (General Robert E. Lee), Leon Addison Brown (Harold Green), Bill Camp (Mr. Jolly), Joseph Carlson (Jospeh Marstern), Christopher Cartmill (Leonard Grover), David Costabile (James Ashley), Joseph Cross (John Hay), Daniel Day-Lewis (Abraham Lincoln), Joe Dellinger (Nelson Merrick), Colman Domingo (Private Harold Green), Adam Driver (Samuel Beckwith), Mary Dunleavy (Marguerite), Wayne Duvall (Senator Bluff Wade), Ralph D. Edlow (Leo), Chase Edmunds (Willie Lincoln), James ‘Ike’ Eichling (William Dennison), Sally Field (Mary Todd Lincoln), Ford Flannagan (Tom Pendel), Todd Fletcher (Walter H. Washburn), Walton Goggins (Clay Hawkins), Michael Goodwin (Chilton A. Elliott), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Robert Lincoln), Dave Hager (Captain Nathan Saunders), Jackie Early Haley (Alexander Stephens), Jared Harris (Ulysses S. Grant), John Hawkes (Robert Latham), Stephen Henderson (William Slade), Grainger Hines (Gideon Welles), Hal Holbrook (Preston Blair), Jamie Horton (Giles Stuart), Gregory Hosaflook (John F. McKenzie), John Hutton (Senator Charles Summer), Gregory Itzen (Judge John A. Campbell), Byron Jennings (Montgomery Blair), Ted Johnson (John Ellis), Tommy Lee Jones (Thaddeus Stevens), William Kaffenberger (John A. Casson), Michael Stanton Kennedy (Hiram Price), Joe Kerkes (Andrew E. Finck), Clarence Key (Brigadier General Seth Williams), Charles Kinney (Myer Strauss), Ken Lambert (Augustus Benjamin), John Lescault (Gustavus Fox), C. Brandon Marshall (Rufus Warren), Elizabeth Marvel (Mrs. Jolly), Dakin Matthews (John Usher), Edward McDonald (Daniel G. Stuart), Bruce McGill (Edwin Stanton), Boris McGiver (Alexander Coffroth), Gulliver McGrath (Tad Lincoln), Gannon McHale (Aaron Haddam), Peter McRobbie (George Pendleton), S. Epatha Merkerson (Lydia Smith), John Moon (Edwin LeClerk), Tim Blake Nelson (Richard Schell), Kevin Lawrence O’Donnell (Charles Hanson), David Oyelowo (Corporal Ira Clark), Matthew Pabo (Lee Pace (Fernando Wood), Robert Peters (Jacob Graylor), Bill Raymond (Schuyler Colfax), Gloria Reuben (Elizabeth Keckley), Michael Ruff (Harold Hollister), Robert Ruffin (Major Thompson Eckert), Raynor Scheine (Josiah S. ‘Beanpole’ Burton), Drew Sease (David Homer Bates), Robert Shepherd (Dr. Joseph K. Barnes), Michael Shiflett (Senator R.M.T. Hunter), Walt Smith (William Fessenden), James Spader (W.N. Bilbo), Stephen Spinella (Asa Vintner Lettor), David Straithairn (William Seward), Jeremy Strong (John Nicolay), Michael Stuhlbarg (George Yeaman), Richard Topol (James Speed), Asa-Luke Twocrow (Ely Parker), Larry Van Hoose (Avon Hanready), Richard Warner (Homer Benson), David Warshofsky (William Hutton), Christopher Evan Welch (Edward McPherson), Armistead Wellford (Nehemiah Cleary), Charmaine White (Minerva), Julie White (Elizabeth Blair Lee), Scott Wichman (Charles Benjamin)
Runtime: 153 mins
Dave Griffiths’s ‘Lincoln’ Review:
Director Steven Spielberg (War Horse, The Adventures Of Tintin) is not normally known for his dialogue filled dramas, sure he loves to incorporate themes into his films but normally those films are also full of well-shot action sequences. But ‘Lincoln’ is a little different, ‘Lincoln’ sees Spielberg delve into a historic dialogue driven film that may be enjoyable to watch but certainly could have used a little bit more action.
Taken from a novel by Doris Kearns Goodwin ‘Lincoln’ sees President Abraham Lincoln (Daniel Day-Lewis – Nine, There Will Be Blood) ruling over a country that is self-destructing amidst a horrendous Civil War. Determined to see the Way bring some good to the country Lincoln decides that it is time to change the 13th Amendment and see slavery abolished.
But in order to do that Lincoln has to go against the suggestions of his right-hand man, William Seaward (David Strathairn – The Bourne Legacy, No God No Master) and begin to lobby other congress members (such as Clay Hawkins (Walton Goggins – Officer Down, Django Unchained)) so they will change their stance on slavery in The South.
Aside from that Lincoln also faces crisis on the family front with his wife Mary Todd Lincoln (Sally Field – The Amazing Spider-Man, TV’S Brothers & Sisters) struggling mentally after the loss of their child and his eldest son Robert Lincoln (Joseph Gordon-Levitt – Looper, The Dark Knight Rises) determined to be able to fight in the Way even if it means going against his father’s wishes.
The fact that Spielberg has gone for a full dialogue and drama onslaught does have it pros and cons. While it gives actor Daniel Day-Lewis the opportunity to pull off one of Hollywood’s best ever performances it also holds back the film. It becomes painfully obvious that screenwriter Tony Kushner comes from a theatre background when you realise that despite the film is set during the Civil War you hear more actors talking about the war then what you see of footage from it… it’s almost like Kushner has forgotten that in film it is okay to spend a little bit of cash and actually film something rather than just talk about.
Spielberg seems to also surprisingly under use some of his cast members. While Walton Goggins gets to showcase the acting ability that made him such a big hit on ‘The Shield’ and Tommy Lee Jones puts in one of his finest efforts for years, poor Joseph Gordon-Levitt is horribly under used for an actor of his talents while Sally Field is horribly miscast as Mary Todd Lincoln.
If you enjoy historically accurate dramatic films then you will enjoy ‘Lincoln’ but if you enjoy films with a little bit of action then this certainly isn’t the film for you.
Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Lincoln′: Check Episode #19 of our The Good The Bad The Ugly Podcast for a more in-depth review of ‘Lincoln’. Dave’s other review of ‘Lincoln’ can be found on the Helium Entertainment Channel