Lincoln Directed by: Steven Spielberg Written by: Tony Kushner (screenplay), Doris Kearns Goodwin (book) Starring: Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, Tommy Lee Jones and David Strathairn
The controversy surrounding Lincoln’s depiction of African Americans has been slightly dwarfed in the wake of Django Unchained. There was still rampant, endlessly insightful discussion of it in all corners of the internet, but its subdued, melancholy pacing doesn’t place that issue front and center, and it is decidedly less confrontational than Tarantino’s bloody Southern.
After watching Spielberg’s political epic a second time, I came away with a renewed appreciation for the skill with which it was crafted. Tony Kushner’s flair for language, the astonishing performances by everyone from Daniel Day-Lewis to Sally Field and Tommy Lee Jones, the production design- all of these meld to form a focused political thriller that ranks among Spielberg’s finest films.
Lincoln Directed by: Steven Spielberg Written by: Tony Kushner (screenplay), Doris Kearns Goodwin (book) (in part) Starring: Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, David Strathairn and Tommy Lee Jones
Seeing movies after they have been stampeded over and analyzed by the critical mainstream can be both a blessing and a curse, as it is with Steven Spielberg’s latest historical filmmaking venture, Lincoln. I often make it a point not to read reviews of movies I plan on writing about until after I’ve seen the movie and collected my thoughts, and this one is no exception.
That being said, there was an op-ed in the New York Times released by Northwestern history professor Kate Masur days before Lincoln was released nationally. It was titled “In Spielberg’s Lincoln, Passive Black Characters,” and it addresses just what its title proclaims in a succinct, powerful fashion. Masur is not a professional film critic, and her piece is not an evaluation of the whole production but merely a response to the specific part of it that her title describes.