Friday, we went to see the movie Lincoln, a Steven Spielberg film starring Daniel Day-Lewis as Lincoln, Sally Fields as Mary Todd Lincoln, and Tommy Lee Jones as Thaddeus Stevens. The movie is set toward the end of Lincoln’s presidency, when he was pushing for the 13th Amendment of the Constitution to be passed. The movie focuses on the two major obstacles Lincoln faced in getting the Amendment passed through the House of Representatives in January 1865.
The first and most obvious obstacle Lincoln had to hurdle was having political support from both sides of the aisle. The second was having the war end before the amendment could be voted on by the House. If the war ended, that would mean The Confederate States had surrendered and their delegates would be reestablished in the House, and the Amendment would die because of the lack of support for its passage. It was crucial to pass the Amendment while the South was still in succession, in order to have a chance at the 2/3 majority of the vote for passage. Also, the passage of the vote predicated itself on the idea that if it passed, the war would essentially be over. So Lincoln had to push the passage of the bill in a hurry and somehow keep the South from peace talks.
Spielberg did a great job with this movie. I found it a little slow moving at first, but it picked up pace. Daniel Day-Lewis does a great job of portraying Lincoln, and has quite a likeness. Sally Field also played a convincing role as Mary Todd Lincoln, and as troubled as her character was—she was still loveable. My other favorite character in this movie was Thaddeus Stevens played by Tommy Lee Jones. Thaddeus is portrayed as steadfast for the cause of passage and he will say and do what it takes to see this amendment passed. I think Tommy Lee Jones does a superb job in this movie.
If you are debating on seeing this movie—I would highly recommend it. I don’t go to the movies very often and when I do, I don’t want to be disappointed. And Friday, I was NOT disappointed. Being a fan of American History in general, I think Spielberg did Lincoln justice.
Have you seen the Lincoln movie?
What were your thoughts?