The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU students gather around a bucket of markers to write an encouraging note to put in “Welcome to the Shelter” kits at event in mid-April on SMU’s campus.
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Morgan Shiver, Contributor • June 20, 2024
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Spielberg’s sweeping ‘Lincoln’ portrays past president in humble, heroic light

Daniel Day-Lewis, center rear, as Abraham Lincoln, in a scene from the film, ‘Lincoln.’ (Courtesy of Dreamworks Pictures)

It was during Dallas’ long, hot summer that production stills showing Daniel Day-Lewis as Abraham Lincoln leaked on the Web.

Instantaneously, the Internet was atwitter admiring Day-Lewis’ uncanny likeness to our 16th president.

While the pictures may have been stunningly similar, it’s Day-Lewis’ superb acting that gives Lincoln’s story new life.

Steven Spielberg’s take on the legendary president’s achievements focus on the final four months of Lincoln’s life as he tries to pass the 13th amendment and abolish slavery once and for all.

Speilberg adapted Doris Kearn Goodwin’s biography of Lincoln titled Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln for the film.

Like Goodwin’s text, Speilberg’s film is heavily researched and dives into the bureaucratic, sometimes frustratingly corrupt, world of Congress during the Civil War.

When Lincoln isn’t busy being an enthralling profile of one of America’s most legendary figures, the film serves as an eye-opening history lesson as well.

Historically, Lincoln was known for his honest and moral judgement, however if one was to enter Speilberg’s Lincoln without a lick of knowledge of the former president, their opinion may slightly differ.

Day-Lewis’ Lincoln is not exactly the incredibly honest man that textbooks make him out to be.

Like the book’s title suggests, Lincoln was a master politician and knew just what strings to pull to see an amendment of the Constitution come full circle.

The real story to come from Lincoln is Day-Lewis’ top notch acting.

From his high-pitched voice to the gestures of his hands, it’s hard to remember that you’re not watching the former president himself. Day-Lewis is just that good. Come Oscar night, expect for Daniel to take home the gold in the lead actor category.

Speilberg also deserves much credit for his sweeping, grand picture. Under his direction, the film takes on a slow-burning element that crescendos at the exact moment you want it to.

As a whole, Lincoln is a resounding achievement that will act as the standard for historical films to come.  

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