I saw Lincoln. Yes, it was the movie, but I came away as if I had seen the man.
Though the politically-minded and historically-informed may gain a better experience, it's a movie all should see nonetheless.
I let my youngest kids join me despite the PG-13 rating. I'm glad I did. I believe they will remember the history and forget the bad language, racial overtones, and violence they saw.
I consider myself quite knowledgeable, even to the trivial, on Lincoln, but I learned some tidbits. Did you know Robert Todd Lincoln was at Appomattox? Where was Tad Lincoln when his father was shot? It checks out.
The key take away was the personal side, though. I feel like I gained an understanding of Lincoln, the man, that no mere books could give me before.
Lincoln was our greatest President for what he, personally, endured on our nation's behalf. That's the take away for me.
Spielberg found a way to take one month--January 1865--to tell a story about the personal side of so many important historical events. Amazing.
Daniel Day Lewis is not an actor, despite his awards, who had ever gotten my attention or box office gate before. He has now. If this guy doesn't sweep the next Academy Awards, there shouldn't bother being such things.
Early reports of a hidden, political message against Republicans are mostly unfounded. You have to be pretty Machiavellian to think Spielberg is that Machiavellian. Modern Republicans would benefit from a more pragmatic approach is the closet thing to a political agenda I could find. And I think that's right so I might have read into that anyway.
David Strathairn was a great Seward. Sally Field was right on too. Bruce McGill's depiction of Ohioan Edwin Stanton fit what I would have thought of that man too. I could go on and on.
Finally, an actor with Licking County connections, Hal Holbrook, deserves some accolades too. He, once again, proved to be an actor with wide appeal. He put personality to a character, Preston Blair, which few would have any historical context. He's his generation's Henry Fonda for sure.
Any doubt? Go see it. It's personal.