Lincoln


I have a crush on Abe Lincoln, there it is, I said it out loud, well I committed it to the page, and the Internet. I went to see Lincoln this week with Ian. It was a spur of the moment choice.

And it was a good choice.

The movie was filmed in Richmond, although I will have to see it again to see if there are any landmarks that jump out at me. I spent the first viewing in awe of the man that was Abraham Lincoln.

Awe.

His folksy presentation that allowed him to be at ease with people, and allowed people to be at ease with him. And yet…

And yet the power of his intellect; his ability to speak; to write; to see a problem from a most interesting perspective is awe-inspiring. Lincoln is the towering president, with the towering mind reaching across the years to leave his mark; Daniel Day-Lewis appeared to just be a conduit. He was channeling Abe.

And, and, Honest Abe was not above politics. I think we often feel that way about presidents-past. You know George Washington, Tom Jefferson [though he is a little tarnished], and Abe. Man he was driven in his own quiet way. Driven. He wasn’t afraid to say, “Damn it, I am the president of these United States, and we will do it my way!”

I have read that the script stays close to things Abe said. I hope that’s true, because… oh my God… I would have voted for him, re-elected him, hell probably would have done anything he asked. And he was a Republican! The scene that has left its mark on me was short and so, so brilliant. Smart is so sexy.

If Abe didn’t say this no one tell me. Equality is math. Yes it is. Bloody brilliant!

Do yourself a favor, go and fall in love with one of the nation’s architects. Do it!

 

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8 thoughts on “Lincoln

  1. Since I was young I have been interested in Lincoln after finding out he had relatives who were from an adjoining town. He WAS a consumate Poitician, he was hated by those who were his political rivals, but he was certifiably a genious when it came to doing the right thing and choosing the right time to do it. As the Civil war wore on he gained the respect of his rivals. He may not have been an architect of the nation in the same way as Washington and Jefferson, but he surely was the savior of this nation. He was killed before he could truly put his stamp on the future, but in his moment he was magnificent.

    • I think, Ed, that many presidents are architects of the nation. I think we were to compare our nation to a house — it’s that house on the block that is ALWAYS in the middle of some sort of renovation. It was Lincoln’s passion and drive that got us the 13th Amendment. I wonder had the war ended before he did — who would we be today?

  2. According to Doris Kearns Goodwin and Tony Kushner (author of Team of Rivals and the screenwriter of the movie Lincoln, respectively), Lincoln would be a Democrat today. I would be very interested in reading a cogently argued history of the evolution of the Democratic and Republican parties, because I’m certain that Lincoln–who helped to found the Republican party as the Whig party crumbled–would not recognize today’s Republican party, and would find it abhorrent. I am certain of it.

    And yes, this movie–especially Daniel Day-Lewis’s performance–was fantastic. So glad I saw it!

    • I know he would — and I think it was obvious throughout the movie that the names had switched sides… I think the evolution of that is interesting.

  3. I, too, want to see the movie a second time; I was transported. It was like being in the presence of President Lincoln. There was so much happening in the film but Daniel Day-Lewis/Lincoln dominated his scenes. (Richmond is a small backdrop, predominately with The Capitol building providing the chambers and halls of Congress, etc.).
    The film deserves several Oscars (Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Fields, and Steven Spielberg) and will find a place in classrooms for years to come. I thought Spielberg did a good job opening up with the Gettysburg Address and concluding with the 2nd Inaugural Address (both inscriptions on the Lincoln Memorial and as close to expressing the nation’s ideals and best hopes). It has been frequently said that after the Bible and Shakespeare, that the words of Lincoln have drawn more analysis and commentary than any other writer. The movie reflects that Lincoln still defines, through his language, what it means to be part of the American experiment.

    • Oh, absolutely, it deserves Oscars. Sally Fields’ Molly made me uncomfortable — but I think that was right. “Fragile” women have little place in my personal universe :).

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