Saturday, November 24, 2012

Lincoln (2012)

Director: Steven Spielberg. Cast: Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, David Strathairn, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, James Spader , Hal Holbrook, Tommy Lee Jones, John Hawkes, Jackie Earle Haley, Tim Blake Nelson, Jared Harris. 150 min. Rated PG-13. USA/India. Drama/History.

Another one of those movies that 100 words would be a great disservice to describe. Let's just say after watching so many films, again, this one came along and changed how I thought about humanity, specifically politics, and politicians. About how morally ambiguous the whole process is, and how while trying to do good, politicians step into a dark abyss, and commit actions that haunt them for the rest of their lives. Spielberg performs miracles again, by upgrading a somewhat simple segment of history (passing a Constitutional Amendment), to cinematic masterpiece. Expecting this to be the year's main Oscar winner.

PS: How about stating with this great article? Thanks, JZ.

Mo says:


  1. No doubt it will take plenty of Oscars home this year ,including best picture, for sure !.

    The integral part is the point you mentioned and stated as a quote in the movie :

    "The most liberating constitutional amendment in history, passed by corruption, aided and abetted by the purest man in America. "

    However, I never felt bad about buying vote or that corruption!. It was automatically justified in my mind by his moral goal . The only thing that hurt me was the war. I'm not American but just by watching movies and based on what I heard so far ,every time I see, I'm impacted by this brother -against -brother war. It was really terrible in their history and that's why some aspect of Lincoln's character remained vague for me that how he could stand such tragedy ? tolerance of viewing those dreadful battle and half of millions casualties is hard to describe, let alone to command it .to make it ? history-making men's personality with such ambitious and high -disciplines is hard to figure out by ordinary minds...leaders who is doing anything to prove that their believes are right and here he was absolutely right!.

    As he said

    Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.”

    * *

    I liked the way Daniel Day Louis portrayed his performance. Very tangible. I never felt he is acting (In contrast to Antony Hopkins in Hitchcock ).

    The war scenes again is magnificent ,no surprise for Spielberg who is the master of making such heart stopping war scenes.

    The vote scene was another breathtaking moment. Everybody shows his vote honesty and bravely ahead of All with saying yay. or ..nay !....Incredible poll.

  2. Dear Maryam,

    The biggest lesson I learned from "Lincoln" (almost at a life-changing status), was its ability to change the definition of "politician" for me. Since we always think of politicians of people who should keep morality as their primary principle (e.g., never lie), and since they always fail in this regard, we always think of politicians as corrupt, dirty people.

    But "Lincoln" redefines that concept. It says when it comes to politics, there's no such thing as morality; only the benefit of your people counts. You should achieve the benefit of your people ... by any means necessary - even if that includes committing something that may seem illegal (or even criminal) when you're in office. Even if it compels you to sell your soul to the devil.

    I never thought of a politician in those terms. Apparently, such "noble" politicians (those who are willing to sacrifice their conscience in the line of duty) are extremely rare in history, but this movie says that Abraham Lincoln was one of them. A president who extended the Civil War and allowed thousands of more young people get killed, just so he could include the abolition of slavery into the Constitution. I would not want to be in the place of such people, who make such unbelievable decisions for a country.

  3. By the way, I haven't seen "Hitchcock" yet because the reviews (and the trailer) weren't too good, but what you wrote assured me there's no rush to see it.

  4. You know it's hard for me to believe that politicians may tell the truth?! you know where I'm coming from ? A country whose people in such business are the most unreliable and untrusted ones around ! Maybe in U.S according to your knowledge it's not ,then you got surprised but even in this case still hard to believe that people who running the world could remain sterile or pure as you think .You are an honest and pure man and see those people by your own sight.
    * I'm looking ward your opinion about Hitchcock. He was Anthony Hopkins not Hitchcock but the story of making psycho was impressive ,especially for you whose top ten is this movie!

  5. Thank you, Maryam, for the kind words. I guess I wasn't able to get my message through on my last post. What I meant is: I already believed politicians around the world (including the US) are corrupt, but what I found interesting about "Lincoln", is that it says for politicians to perform a good deed to benefit the people in the long term, they sometimes need to (or should be) corrupt. They should lie, bribe, and coerce others to get the job done. "Lincoln" says we have to accept that as the nature of the beast.

  6. Thank you for more explanation. You know this is a complex concept. In the past I was kind of person who believes there in no place for telling lie (even white lie ) in any circumstance. We are not allowed to sacrifice any righteous concept for other goals even the latter is as right as the former. my reason was obvious : after all there will not exist any moral concept among people because those have been all sacrificed or logically justified to be ignored . But we both had a similar discussion that whether telling lie to wrong people or hiding our ideology from them is wise or not ? and I said it's right ! so now I think maybe some rare occasion in our life ,in context of protecting innocent White lie is wise and intelligent and then acceptable. the same in Lincoln's story.

  7. That's exactly why some people like you and me should not go into politics; we're not able to lie with a straight face.

    Before watching "Lincoln", I was thinking if my son ever came to me in the future and said he wants look for an education or job in politics, I would try to dissuade him. But after seeing this movie, I thought: Why not? If he could become the rare "noble" politician pictured here, I should give him that chance.

  8. Finally I could watch this brilliant movie in the cinema , just a few days ago . From the early years of my childhood, I had read too much about Lincoln , but watching him in a movie was really a wonderful experience.Daniel-day Lewis was very good in this personage , and I think he desreves another academy award for his performance. I enjoyed the movie , both because I like historical movies and also , I learned that all democratic countries like The U.S. , has paid great prices to gain their basic human rights.As an immigrant from a third world country , this movie had so many lessons for me. Meanwhile , I acknowledged that " Politics is Politics " and it is almost common all over the world in all ages of human civilization.The meaning of morality and honesty in the field of Politics differs from what we understand in our normal human relationships.