The Lincoln Movie Review Movie Review Example
“Lincoln” (2012) is an American biographical film directed by Steven Spielberg, starring Daniel Day-Lewis as the President of the United States Abraham Lincoln. Filming started in October 2011 and was completed in December of the same year, and the premiere was held on November 09th, 2012.
The action of the film starts in January 1865 showing a Civil War battle. At this time the 16th US President Abraham Lincoln is at the peak of popularity. But he faces two serious problems: lack of the required number of votes necessary to adopt the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution prohibiting slavery, and the need to end the Civil War. Even the President’s closest advisers do not believe that these problems can be solved simultaneously. Lincoln’s family life was not calm either: his eldest son wants to serve in the army, but the first lady, who has very difficult and unbalanced temper, opposes it.
Lincoln believes that the Civil War will end in about a month, but he fears that after the war has ended, the courts may consider his Emancipation Proclamation to have no legal effect thus re-enslaving the slaves who were already released. For that reason he considers that it is necessary to adopt the Thirteenth Amendment by the end of the month, i.e. before the end of the war. But the amendment does not have enough support in the Congress. Even if all the Republicans (who more or less support the abolition of slavery) vote for the amendment, it would still require several votes from Democrats (who are point-blank against it) to pass. Lincoln’s advisors suggest waiting till the new Congress with more Republicans in it is seated in order to avoid difficulties with the voting process, but Lincoln insists that the issue has to be settled before the end of the war.
So Lincoln and his team start working on ensuring the necessary number of votes for the amendment. They rely on support of Mr. Blair, the founder of the Republican Party, which will ensure the votes of all members of conservative fraction of the party. Besides, they succeed in persuading several democrats (those who were not re-elected) to vote for the amendment in exchange for some good federal jobs. In the end, the amendment was adopted by the congress by a margin of two votes. After that, Lincoln meets with the Confederates and tells them that it is necessary for all states to ratify the Thirteenth Amendment and that slavery cannot be recovered.
The film has shown us that cleverness, political skills and strong belief his ideas helped the President to unite the Republicans and to attract a part of the Democrats, which allows to adopt the amendment. Confederate rebels are defeated and capitulate. But Lincoln himself did not have long to enjoy his victory: he soon became a victim of political assassination. He was shot while he was spending an evening with his family in the theatre. The film ends with the scene of Lincoln delivering his second inauguration speech.
The film relates to chapter 9 Slavery Without Submission, Emancipation Without Freedom (Zinn). The book tells us that there were two ways for abolishment of slavery at that time – either a huge rebel of slaves, or a war. When Lincoln was elected President of the US, seven southern states which supported slavery seceded from the Union forming a Confederacy. Thus, the Civil War started. In January 1963 Lincoln issued Emancipation Proclamation which stated that all the slaves who were fighting in the areas which were against the Union were free; but it did not state anything about the status of the slaves outside of those areas. Although the Emancipation Proclamation was not perfect, it stimulated anti-slavery movement, and in April 1864 the Senate adopted the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution which declared an end to slavery in the United States.
Zinn Howard. A People’s History of the United States. History is a Weapon, n.d. Web. 23 Mar 2015
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