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Entertainment Weekly reveals the first official look at Daniel Day-Lewis as Lincoln and details about the film

08.07.2012

Spielberg with lens on ground

The richness of color and character in this picture is exactly what you'd expect from a collaboration between Steven Spielberg and Daniel Day-Lewis. Meaning it is all kinds of fantastic and somehow even better than I'd imagined after all this time of expectation.

Tony Kushner (MUNICH) adapted the screenplay for LINCOLN from the book "Team of Rivals" by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, which deals with the last four months of Lincoln's life and focuses "on the political collision of Lincoln and the powerful men of his cabinet on the road to abolition and the end of the Civil War."

Daniel Day Lewis as Lincoln official

Here's to hoping that, unlike WAR HORSE, Spielberg's next has a bit of grit and grime to it. Lincoln helped lead the United States througha forge of fire and come out alive (not Lincoln, the USA), and it was a tough time for many more reasons than the Civil War. Indeed, the abolition of slavery came about for many more reasons than Lincoln simply being a nice guy. And on that note, Spielberg said that “Lincoln’s realization that the Emancipation Proclamation, the thing he is most known for, was simply a war powers act that would easily be struck down by any number of lawyers after the cessation of hostilities after the Civil War... He needed to abolish slavery by constitutional measure — and that’s where we start.”

I fully believe that Spielberg is fully capable of delivering a comprehensive and piercing look at all the levels of difficulty that Lincoln encountered while attempting to keep this country on a steady course, both as a human being and as our President, so long as he keeps his bearded biopic away from the dangerously tempting qualities of Oscar bait. He managed it once with in this latter chapter of his career with MUNICH (my vote for the Best Picture of 2005), and I look forward to seeing if he can do it again.

Extra Tidbit: After a few performances where he seemed less-than enthusiastic, I'm stoked to see Tommy Lee Jones play Thaddeus Stevens, “one of [Lincoln's] most engaging and challenging adversaries [and] a radical member of Lincoln’s own party."

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