Everyone that knows me knows I am a history buff. More importantly and Lincoln buff and this movie is a historical drama film that may answer lingering questions that history did not or could not answer. Based on the award winning book Team of Rivals by Doris Kerns Goodwin it is produced and directed by Steven Speilberg.
Starring Daniel Day Lewis as President Lincoln it focuses on the last four months of his life and presidency. Lewis portrays Lincoln as a quiet, strong, thinker that is not willing to back down on his promise of freedom to the slaves from his 1863 Emancipation Proclamation and the end to the war. You see the softer side of Lincoln who worries for his wife, children, slaves, soldiers and the nation he leads and how he can get his former competitors to back him and get him through the issues of incompetent generals and a rowdy House of Representatives.
Sally Fields brings Mary Todd Lincoln to life. Her portrayal of the grieving, worried First Lady shows how grief can make one a bit off kilter. You also see how the President and First Lady relate to each other, their surviving boys Robert and Tad, their grief over the loss of son Willie, as well as their closest friends and confidents.
Other important Historical figures and the stars that play them:
David Strathairn as William Seward, Secretary of State and Lincolns closest friend
Tommy Lee Jones as Thaddeus Stevens the Radical Republican Congressional Leader
James Spader as William N. Bilbo the Republican Party leader whom was Lincoln released from prison and stood behind the 13th Amendment
Jackie Earle Haley as Alexander H. Stephens, Vice President of the Confederate States
Jared Harris as Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant commander of the Union army
With more stars playing intragal parts of history what history has left out is two women that were strong and independent, going against the grain of the time. Gloria Reuben plays Elizabeth Keckley, a former slave that is dress maker and close confident to the First Lady and S. Epatha Merkerson as Lydia Smith a biracial woman who was not just house keeper to Thaddeus Stevens but his lover as well.
This is defiantly a movie for any history buff and the stars just make the characters come alive. Though there are times that the movie seems to lull, from opening to closing scenes the movie pulls you into America in 1865 and keeps you wanting more though we all know the outcome!