Honestly Boring Abe

If History was your favorite subject in school, you will find yourself drawn to Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln. Although Daniel Day-Lewis’s depiction of our nation’s 16th president was certainly worthy of acclaim, as were the performances of the rest of the star-studded cast, the film seemed to be missing one detrimental factor: any action whatsoever. Spielberg captured the president’s final months in office in a nation on the cusp of change and ravaged by war. In a last-cry effort to end the violence, Lincoln opts to do everything in his power to end slavery, and therefore effectively end the war. However, despite the fascinating history, the bulk of the film seemed to have been filmed in a room so packed with heated, angry men, I nearly smelled the BO from my seat. A great story, told by great actors, but Spielberg’s directing left a bit too much to the imagination. Above all, little was done to constrain the epic. Bouncing back and forth between scenes and characters left me confused and unsure of whom I was rooting for. Spielberg could have produced a tighter storyline, with a bit more of the vicious Civil War imagery our generation finds so appealing. If you have a strong interest in politics, you’ll enjoy Lincoln’s 1800s version of C-SPAN. But for me, if I wanted a simple lesson in history, I would have saved my money and watched the History Channel at home instead.

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