Sic Semper Tyrannis?

Sic Semper Tyrannis?

Lincoln was on my agenda for Christmas Day. I like movies on Christmas…though I feel bad for the theater employees…for some reason a good movie seems to cap off the holiday nicely. Lincoln did not disappoint me.

At right around 2 and a half hours, this movie isn’t for those with a squeamish bladder. The up side is, I never felt like I was bored or curious how much longer I had to go. I felt like the movie showed a historically accurate portrait of our nation’s 16th President. It didn’t show him to be the saint that history would like us to believe he is…but a President, self-confident to the point of having a power complex. I say self-confident, instead of arrogant, because he was pleasant about it.

Unfortunately, there were no vampires hacked to death with a gleaming axe. *le sigh* The weapon of choice for Ol’ Abe seemed to be his wit and his words. Our knowledge of President Lincoln says he was a fervent reader. The movie portrays him as quite the storyteller as well. He takes the opportunity frequently to share a little parable, in the middle of a situation, in order to convey his message or prove a point. You can’t help but enjoy the dialogue of the movie. I would be interested to know how many of those stories were representations of actual stories from the man’s lips.

One of my favorite scenes from the movie, is also one of the most heartbreaking. While for the most part, you are involved in the story of how the 13th Amendment to the Constitution was passed (and the riggers involved in the passing), the film does take pause every once in a while to give you a glimpse of the Civil War…the other major struggle Lincoln was a part of. In the scene pictured here, Lincoln tours a battlefield with thousands of dead soldiers bodies. The stoic Uncle Abe, who sent these men to their deaths over his inability to let the South go freely and peacefully, walks his horse slowly through the carnage. Daniel Day Lewis perfectly melts his countenance into sadness and disappointment, removing his iconic hat in respect…but doesn’t shed a tear.

I would say the movie is an 8/10 – I would have liked a little less about the 13th Amendment…a little more rounding of his story. I also felt the assassination was rushed through. Other than that, I felt like it was excellent. I would see it again.