Review: Lincoln

The Best Films of Our Lives

The best Great Man biopics account for the fact that history favors a monolith. Over time, we lose sight of the details of a person’s life: the quirks, the flaws, the failures. A marble statue can’t account for a man’s shuffling gait or the twinkle in his eye when he launches into a dirty joke. America has a particular tendency to turn its great leaders of the past into monuments; we lionize and sterilize the Founding Fathers so that we can invoke their unassailable presence in political debate. Men are fallible – gods are incapable of error.

What a good film can do (or a good book, or any other piece of art, for that matter) is fracture that monolith. Steven Spielberg’s grand but flawed “Lincoln” tries to break through our autopilot perception of the 16th President as The Greatest of All Time. It is remarkably focused and tight for…

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By Nicholas Maithya Posted in Reviews

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