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Just about everyone knows someone who has been bullied, in ways big and small. Understandably, though, many victims are reluctant to speak about their experiences. We found some who aren't.
By ELLEN PHAM, Chamberlain High
Worried that Lincoln would be a sermon of historical rhetoric (which I hear quite enough of at school), I was hesitant to review it. But once I heard Steven Spielberg (Saving Private Ryan) was the director, I trusted him to create a film worthy of dominating the big screen.
He certainly did.
Lincoln could seem like it’s begging for an audience snooze fest. There are few battles scenes, especially for a movie that takes place during the Civil War, and the dim lighting makes it easy for tired eyes to relax. But that’s where the real strength of Lincoln lies. It doesn’t rely on profanity or explosions like most films seem to these days. The action is in the words, which forces you to listen closely and be fully engrossed with the events unraveling.
With opposing views on slavery and thousands dying in the Civil War, the United States is fragile and divided. President Lincoln (Daniel Day-Lewis) knows the only way to unite the country is to pass the 13th Amendment, which would abolish slavery. The hard part is that even with all the Republicans agreeing to approve the amendment, there still needs to be a few Democrats voting “aye,” too. This launches a group of Lincoln supporters to rally Democratic votes.
I don’t even want to imagine the amount of research Tony Kushner did to write the script, which thoroughly portrays the speech and sentiments of the people during that time period. The visuals are outstanding and beautifully capture the ambiance of the late 1800s.
Day-Lewis’ performance is one of the best I’ve seen all year. His portrayal of Lincoln is exactly how I’d imagine the 16th president to be: wise and humorous, with a sheepishly commanding voice. Not only does he master Lincoln’s reflective stance, Day-Lewis is also convincing as he shows Lincoln’s human side, depicted in several scenes. He is the spitting image of the man in my history textbook, sideburns and all. Needless to say, his makeup artist definitely deserves a hefty bonus.
While Day-Lewis’ acting stands out, the entire cast is splendid. Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Looper) who plays Robert, Lincoln’s son, never ceases to amaze me, and Sally Field (Forrest Gump), who plays Lincoln’s wife Mary, displays the right balance of insanity and willfulness.
I have no doubt that in the years to come Lincoln will be shown in classrooms to teach students about American history, but out of the classroom, the overwhelming historical references may be off-putting to moviegoers who aren’t history buffs. Regardless, the film unveils a private, fatherly side of the president your history textbook won’t mention, and watching the Democrats and Republicans spat at each other is vastly entertaining.