Gab: Remember in school when the teacher wheeled in a dusty projector to replace a live lesson with a film, hoping – and more often than not failing – to the capture the students’ imaginations? Well, Lincoln is like that dry reel from the classroom cupboard, an excuse for the audience to feel enlightened and cultured, when all the film really does is kill time and squander promise. Hats off to Daniel Day Lewis, who is superbly believable and likable as President Lincoln. Unfortunately, Tony Kushner’s script is so pedantic and dry, and Steven Spielberg’s interpretation of it so literal and artless, that the film feels like the worst kind of homework. It smacks of hubris, the hubris of teacher’s pets expecting praise for a disappointing final project, praise which a certain kind of film audience will readily give to justify their by-the-book cultural standards. Boys, I’m afraid you’ll have to stay after class.
Dad: Once again I mostly agree with Gab, across the generational divide. Lincoln demonstrates that even a first-class director, Spielberg, and perhaps the finest living male movie actor, Daniel Day Lewis, can be undermined by a bad movie script. Script matters! Although, there was one interesting thing: the film shows how a ruthless President was prepared to get down-and-dirty with Congress to achieve his great political objectives. Take note, President Obama.
by Gab and Dad, check out their video reviews at YouTube
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