January 11, 2013

Time away from the beach to view the film 'Lincoln'

BAHIA del Sol, Nayarit, Mexico - Adm. Fox and I checked out the sunset last night and then watched the Spielberg film Lincoln that has been nominated for so many awards you might expect it to show up on a Catholic list of those under consideration for canonization.

Lincoln surveys a battlefield
Most of the feedback we received from people who had seen it was that it was pretty slow, ponderous in fact, and in a couple of cases, people didn't finish it.

It is not exactly a James Lee Burke potboiler.

Still, the movie has good points and focuses as much as passage of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as Abraham Lincoln himself. It's quite a story.

The politics of getting the amendment passed swirl through the movie. And as a long-time observer of American politics, it was fascinating for me to see the politics at work in the 1860s. They were almost as ugly as today. And the politicians were not a great deal smarter.

Lincoln, was clever, of course. And Lincoln had ethics. Ok, there is a stark difference between then and now.

Tommy Lee Jones
Brooding on the movie later, I realized one reason I couldn't take my eyes of it was because the politics in it reminded me of the byzantine inner workings of the university where I taught for 25 years. We nearly had our own civil war there when the university president shifted funds from academics to public relations - then said he had done no such thing.

What I would have done for a General Ulysses S. Grant!

The performance by Daniel Day-Lewis was Oscar worthy. So was a lesser role by Tommy Lee Jones.

In fact Tommy Lee Jones' character really gets the last word(s) in the movie. It's worth watching until the last minute to see him sans his dark wig and you quickly understand why he felt so strongly about abolishing slavery.

Lincoln is worth struggling through.
Daniel Day-Lewis (center) as Lincoln

1 comment:

concertMaster said...

So I guess we need to watch the second half, thanks for the heads up. We have just watched the other film that tackles slavery: Django Unchained. I will say that tucked within the outrageousness are some very profound comments / observations. Leave it to Quentin to make learning fun! My vote for best picture of the year...