“Lincoln”

Steven Spielberg’s masterful Lincoln might more accurately have been called The 13th Amendment — and while the choice of the more marketable title is easy to understand, the more crucial decision to limit the scope of the film to the last few months of Lincoln’s life, and to focus less on Lincoln himself than on the political machinations of bringing about his most enduring legal legacy, must have been harder to make.

Watching Daniel Day-Lewis‘ sublime interpretation of perhaps the most iconic figure in American history, it’s easy to wish that Spielberg and screenwriter Tony Kushner (Munich) had chosen to adapt a greater swath of their source material; namely, the popular historian Doris Kearns Goodwin‘s study Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, which covers Lincoln’s presidency and his working relationships with members of his cabinet, including three who ran against him in his first presidential campaign.

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