Best of the year

Lincoln DreamWorks Rating: PG 149 minutes

Lincoln is a movie worthy of the man it portrays. With a script by award-winning playwright Tony Kushner, direction by Steven Spielberg and an amazing performance in the title role by Daniel Day-Lewis this is movie-making at its most brilliant.

It covers the last few months of the 16th American president’s life in 1865 as he schemes, wheels and deals to get the Emancipation Proclamation passed (freeing slaves in the Confederate South), the Civil War ends and he is assassinated. Tommy Lee Jones heads a magnificent supporting cast that includes Sally Field, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, David Strathairn, Hal Holbrooke and Tim Blake Nelson.

Day-Lewis seems to inhabit Lincoln’s character; capturing the kindness, the determination, the wisdom, the compromising, the people skills and his inability to stop telling amusing, self-deprecating stories and anecdotes. Seldom is a historical figure humanized so well and believably. Seldom is history given such realistic flesh and bone.

The movie is also perfectly put together with impressive camerawork, art direction, costumes and music lovingly recreating the Civil War era.

It only took two months after it was released to get to Red Deer, but it is finally here and it may be the best movie of the year. This reviewer finds it very hard to believe Lincoln won’t win Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay, although it only won Best Actor at the Golden Globes. The lesser Argo seems a bigger favourite at the moment.

Rating: five deer out of five

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Alf Cryderman is a Red Deer freelance writer and old movie buff.