Lincoln

by Matt J. Popham

A flat, soporific, pedantic glorification of moral cowardice and political compromise. I expect hollow, didactic sentimentalism from Spielberg, but I am deeply disappointed in Tony Kushner’s thuddingly obvious screenplay. It’s weak and idle theme could be forgiven if it were, in any way, compelling. Yes, it’s prettily shot, but utterly devoid of human drama. Just scene after scene of empty, soapbox prosletyzing, lacking in intellectual or emotional depth. It DOES feature a great performance, but enough about James Spader… As for Daniel Day-Lewis, he is excellent at presenting a hyper-intelligent, emotionally reserved man with an almost Zen-like cerebral remove. But any time he is asked to show the emotion or commitment motivating Lincoln, the facade cracks and we just see Daniel Day-Lewis in a ton of make-up. Leave it to Spielberg to disappoint me, despite my already low expectations…

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