- Picture & Sound
- Bonus Features
First off, while Lincoln isn’t technically a “Disney” picture, there were a LOT of studio partnerships involved in bringing this film to both theaters and home video, and that’s where Disney owned Touchstone pictures comes in. Well, Disney/Touchstone definitely backed a winning horse! With Steven Spielberg in the director’s chair and an ensemble cast that includes actors Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field and Tommy Lee Jones, you really can’t go wrong.
I will start this review by saying that this is a LONG movie! I didn’t even check the run time before popping it in for viewing at about 9pm one evening. About an hour and ten minutes in, I happened to pause to see how far in and how much was left and was astonished at what I saw. The movie is 150 minutes, or roughly two and a half hours in length. Needless to say, I watched it over the course of two evenings, so make sure you’ve set aside enough time to watch it.
I’m not a very political individual and at first, it took me a bit to get into the story. At a certain point, however, it was done. The amazing story of this movie had pulled me in and I could no longer break away from it. This isn’t Abraham Lincoln’s life story. It’s not his rise to, or even his full tenure as President. It’s four and a half months of the year 1865. The American Civil war is now in its fourth year (it started when Lincoln took office). Lincoln has been re-elected for a second term, which he is about to begin. The two most important issues at this time in his Presidency are the ending of the Civil War and the passing of the 16th amendment to the United States Constitution. Lincoln desperately feels the need for the 16th amendment to pass before he begins his second term as President. This conflicts with the possibility of ending the Civil War. If the war were to be over before the 16th amendment could be passed, there’s no telling how long slavery would be able to continue. But if the amendment were to pass first, it could be a catalyst for the ending of the war.
It was interesting to see how these two events were in the balance, and how much of a toll it seemed to take on Lincoln’s very soul, itself.
Surprising as it may seem, I have never seen a movie with Daniel Day-Lewis in it before Lincoln. That being said, after seeing his performance, I now see why he won the Academy Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for his portrayal of our Nation’s 16th President. The man is an amazingly talented actor and his portrayal really gave depth and believability to the character that he played.
The bonus features go on to show us how much really went into the actors’ portrayal of the characters. Steven Spielberg reveals that Daniel Day-Lewis was in character the entire time he was on set. He never really even met Day-Lewis until after filming had completed and was speaking to him in his own voice with his English accent. We also get a look at what was involved in making the sets and costumes as authentic as possible, John Williams musical score with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and how a five hundred plus page first-draft was reduced to the final story.
An amazing film and a must-own!
Sally Field – Mary Todd Lincoln
David Strathairn – William Seward
Joseph Gordon-Levitt – Robert Lincoln
James Spader – W.N. Bilbo
Hal Holbrook – Preston Blair
Tommy Lee Jones – Thaddeus Stevens
John Hawkes – Robert Latham
Jackie Earle Haley – Alexander Stephens
Bruce McGill – Edwin Stanton
Tim Blake Nelson – Richard Schell
Joseph Cross – John Hay
Jared Harris – Ulysses S. Grant
Lee Pace – Fernando Wood
Peter McRobbie – George Pendleton
Run Time: 150 minutes
- The Journey To Lincoln—Steven Spielberg and his collaborators discuss the challenges and excitement of bringing this story of a complex and very human president to the screen.
- A Historic Tapestry: Richmond, Virginia—Steven Spielberg and team discuss the historical significance of Richmond, Virginia, and why they chose to shoot the film there.
- In The Company Of Character—Delve into Daniel Day-Lewis’ portrayal of Lincoln, and discover the authenticity and openness created by the actors and filmmakers on set.
- Crafting The Past—Examine the re-creation of Lincoln’s era through authentic period details in production design, costume and makeup.
- Living With Lincoln—Follow Steven Spielberg, the cast and crew through the shooting of the film, from the battle at Jenkins’ Ferry, through the epic 13th Amendment showdown in the House of Representatives, to Lincoln’s tragic end.
- In Lincoln’s Footsteps—Explore the film’s editing, sound design, and the subtle yet poignant musical score by John Williams, and discover how relevant and inspiring Lincoln still is today.