Lincoln (2012)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Lincoln</strong> (2012)

(Video On-demand, March 2013) In the stream of critical adulation for Lincoln, mark me down as undecided: Maybe it’s because I’m not American, but this presidential biography feels flat, dark and dull compared to the material’s potential.  I am not objecting to the film’s initial refusal to bow to the mythology of the character: some of Lincoln’s best moments come in presenting the president as a canny politician rather than a heroic folk-figure. Unfortunately, Lincoln gets more self-important as it advances, yet still feels unnecessarily dull throughout.  The dark cinematography doesn’t help things, and while the film is not bad at building a political thriller about the passing of a bill rather than a fully satisfying portrait of a historical figure, it still feels overblown for what it tries to do.  At least Daniel Day-Lewis is exceptional as Lincoln, presenting a solid portrayal that manages to combine both Lincoln’s historical importance with a sense of the man behind the myth.  (The supporting cast is also very strong, with special mention to Tommy Lee Jones’ Thaddeus Stevens)  Still, Lincoln fails to fully satisfying: Perhaps too long, perhaps too leisurely, perhaps too ordinary for a film signed by Steven Spielberg.

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