Friday 25 January 2013
Daniel Day-Lewis, adopting the gait and intonation of an elderly Henry Fonda, stars as the 16th and some say finest president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln.
But despite the monolithic title and the long-running time, this is not a sweeping historical biopic but a chamber piece, tightly focused on the political manoeuvring during January 1865 by which Lincoln was able to pass the Thirteenth Amendment to the US Constitution into law, thereby abolishing slavery.
It is filmed with all necessary stately reverence by Steven Spielberg, and written by the Pulitzer-winning playwright Tony Kushner, with a keen ear for the delightful cadence of 19th-century oratory. "You grousle and heckle and dodge about like pettifogging Tammany Hall hucksters," complains Lincoln to his cabinet.
musicReview: Culture Club performs live for first time in 12 years
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
- 2 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 3 Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
- 4 Ottawa shootings: Bruce MacKinnon's cartoon is the perfect tribute to soldier Nathan Cirillo
- 5 Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
This is what a film sex scene actually looks like on set (mostly awkward)
Taylor Swift, 1989 - album review: Pop star shows 'promising signs of maturity'
American Horror Story season 4, Fox - review: Silly, sensational but still sensitive
The Apprentice 2014: Nurun Ahmed and Lindsay Booth sent home in double firing
Breaking Bad season 6 hoax: Vince Gilligan has not confirmed a new series
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Attacks on 'Ukip Calypso' show how skewed people’s priorities are