The 10 best movies I saw in 2012:
|DREAMWORKS, 20TH CENTURY FOX, DAVID JAMES |
Daniel Day-Lewis, center rear, is shown in a scene from "Lincoln."
Steven Spielberg directing a film about our 16th president, with Daniel Day-Lewis in the title role—sounds like a slam dunk, right? Well, yes, it is, but expecting it to be great doesn't diminish its tremendous achievement.
Instead of being a biopic spanning decades, the movie is set primarily in January 1865, when Lincoln pulled out every political trick he could find to secure passage of the 13th Amendment (abolishing slavery).
Day-Lewis fully inhabits Abraham Lincoln, bringing him to life in a way we've never seen before, whether he's delivering a passionate speech or telling one of his folksy stories. It's a performance of extraordinary power in a career filled with towering achievements. The supporting cast, including Tommy Lee Jones as the abolitionist congressman Thaddeus Stevens and Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln, is filled with many of today's best character actors.
This is the work of a restrained Spielberg, who allows the extraordinary performances to carry the film.