Saturday, November 17, 2012

Lincoln: The End Justifies the Means

It was Dec. 1865. President Lincoln knew the Civil War was ending. But he had one more task to accomplish before the men marched off the battlefield.

He yearned to pass the 13th amendment to the constitution, a piece of legislation that would abolish slavery. Alas, not all of Congress agreed.

If a 21st-century politician manipulated the political process as our 16th president did, there would be a great hew and cry. Even shouts for impeachment. But then, there were no videos back then. No proof of what went on in the dark corners and darker side streets of history.

The brilliance of this gripping film is that it spends two and a half hours dealing with the passage of a constitutional amendment and manages to keep us riveted to the screen and wanting more.

We also learn about the president's family life and relationship with his wife. And then there are the characters, in various degrees of shadiness, who helped him end the outrage that was slavery.

Daniel Day Lewis, an Englishman, manages to channel Lincoln in all his gangly homespun grandeur. The Movie Slut had hoped for an American actor, but Lewis won her over, as surely as he'll make you a believer, too.

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