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Review: Saga Doesn't Match Lincoln's Legacy

Trying to wrap your brain around certain movies is tough. Some feature complex character development with deep emotional connections between the actors and the audience. Others are long, epic tales of life, love and happiness. Then there”s Lincoln.

Directed by Steven Spielberg, Lincoln tells the story of President Abraham Lincoln”s final 4 months and his attempt to pass the 13th Amendment to abolish slavery, through the House of Representatives. The movie has Academy Awards aspirations. The question is, did it live up to the hype?

Daniel Day Lewis was charged with portraying the larger than life American hero and didn”t disappoint. Every angle. Every cutaway. Every slow zoom. Every shot of Lewis captured Lincoln in a way that no other movie has. Did anyone expect anything less from the Academy Award winner? Of course not.

There is a catch. Daniel Day Lewis will undoubtedly spend the month of February preparing an acceptance speech for a potential Best Actor win at the 85th Academy Awards. Unfortunately, his performance in Lincoln doesn”t stand up against his previous Oscar winning role.

While it is unfair to pit movies against each other, you can”t help but make comparisons to Lewis” role in 2007″s There Will Be Blood (for those of you who have not seen it, I”d highly recommend it). This is Lewis at his very best. Lincoln didn”t meet the hype. Although Lewis did an amazing job capturing the aura of Abraham Lincoln, the performance didn”t quite live up to the very high bar set 5 years earlier.

Outside of Lewis” performance, the rest of the movie was a blur. There were over 20 well known and respected Hollywood actors in the cast,

most of whom had very small, scattered roles. Instead of focusing on the intense dialogue, you were constantly meeting new faces and matching them to previous roles (“wait, is that the guy from…?”). Joseph Gordon Levitt and Jackie Earle Haley were just two of the actors that fit into this group.

The disclaimer for Lincoln is as follows. If you enjoy things that go boom, Lincoln might not be for you. If you don”t enjoy dialogue heavy sagas, Lincoln might not be for you. If you have a short attention span, Lincoln might not be for you.

Overall, the movie was ok. Unless the Best Actor Oscar class of 2012 is filled with a bunch of duds, Lewis will have a difficult time matching his 2007 win. Let Oscar watch 2012 begin!

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