Thick mud and blood mingle in the opening scenes of Steven Spielberg's latest film, Lincoln. In a brutal demonstration of what happens when politics fails, bodies pile up across a boggy battlefield. The rest of the film, also full of dark and muddy tones, looks steadily at how politicians might end or prolong such a grim civil war. And at the heart of the matter, trying to abolish slavery and adorned with a representation of one of the most famous beards of all time, stands Daniel Day-Lewis.
In playing the revered 16th president of the United States, the 55-year old actor adds to the series of New World archetypes he has tackled on screen.