As the American Civil War continues to rage, America's president struggles with continuing carnage on the battlefield as he fights with many inside his own cabinet on the decision to emancipate the slaves.
In 1865, as the American Civil War winds inexorably toward conclusion, U.S. president Abraham Lincoln endeavors to achieve passage of the landmark constitutional amendment which will forever ban slavery from the United States. However, his task is a race against time, for peace may come at any time, and if it comes before the amendment is passed, the returning southern states will stop it before it can become law. Lincoln must, by almost any means possible, obtain enough votes from a recalcitrant Congress before peace arrives and it is too late. Yet the president is torn, as an early peace would save thousands of lives. As the nation confronts its conscience over the freedom of its entire population, Lincoln faces his own crisis of conscience -- end slavery or end the war.Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Speaker of the House Schuyler Colfax was in his early forties when 13th Amendment was passed, but is portrayed by actor Bill Raymond who was in his early seventies when the film was made. See more »
Private Harold Green:
[speaking to Lincoln on the battlefield]
Some of us was in the Second Kansas Colored. We fought the Rebs at Jenkins' Ferry last April just after they killed every Negro soldier they captured at Poison Springs. So at Jenkins' Ferry, we decided warn't takin' no Reb prisoners. And we didn't leave a one of 'em alive. The ones of us that didn't die that day, we joined up with the 116th US Colored, sir, from Camp Nelson, Kentucky.
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No opening credits except for the main title. See more »
For international releases, an additional prologue about the Civil War was added prior to the start of the film. It mostly shows archive photos with the prologue text included in it. This was decided by the studio's marketing department in its research which realized that while many non-American audiences know of the titular character, most of them are not familiar with the war itself. See more »
The consensus on performance is "spot on"--there is not a bad performance in "Lincoln." In fact, they are stellar. DD Lewis can, on occasion, come off as a bit too studied and slightly transparent, but not often enough for it to matter. All the other roles are just spectacularly played.
However, and it is a big however, this film is often dull, insipid, and overly florid. I have several advanced degrees and can handle didactic films, however, Lincoln stalls quite often with verbosity that fails to entertain and drama that seems, well, a bit stagy. That is my take--there is a lot of room for disagreement here. But I think the bandwagon effect is propelling this film toward awards which from the vantage of performance are probably justified, but from the vantage of all other technical areas, is hardly justifiable at all. Journeyman work,yes, but inspired? Not at all. Despite my reservations, this is still a movie that most people will enjoy. It is very far from Spielberg's best("ET" or "Raiders of the Lost Ark")--fortunately, it is also very farfrom his worst ("Hook" or "1941").
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