Since the other Lincoln thread was really about whether the south had the right to secede I thought I would start this one about the film itself.
The movie was fantastic. Brilliantly acted with a nuanced intelligent screenplay by Tony Kushner. Daniel Day Lewis is a tour de force. This guy inhabits a role like no one else other than maybe Brando. Gary Oldman is another one who comes to mind. But, he's surrounded by an excellent cast with standout performances from Sally Field, James Spader, John Hawkes, and especially Tommy Lee Jones. Everyone delivers.
As one would expect, Spielberg still knows how to manipulate the feelings of an audience and the shot of Lincoln walking toward the front door of the White House for the last time was so pregnant with the weight of destiny that it brings tears to the eyes. The cinematography is nothing short of spectacular and I can still recall several shots - some of just quiet moments in some dimly lit room - that just took my breath away. The art direction was meticulous and seemingly accurate as far as I can tell. I did catch one or two little things that probably only someone who lived in Washington and spent time in those buildings would notice.
I don't always agree with Spielberg and he can definitely drift towards a sanitized view of history but for sheer technical prowess he is a master. Yes, the film has a decided bias or a thesis, if you will which is drawn heavily from Goodin's book. But, it does show the arguments against some of Lincoln's actions and if you're interested in a thought provoking and remarkably relevant film this is the one to see.
I would be shocked if it didn't win best picture, best actor, and best supporting actor (Jones) and could see it winning best supporting actress and best director. It won't win best cinematography because those awards, more and more, tend to go to the gee whiz technical films rather than the ones that mix the new technologies with a more traditional artistic sensibility.