I like movies about historical events. My favorite is Gettysburg.
I like Daniel Day Lewis. I think he is our greatest screen actor.
I like Sally Fields, too. She is versatile. She can do comedy and drama.
And who can hate Tommy Lee Jones? For the record, Jones steals the movie. My guess is that he will get an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor. To beat him, some actor had better be very good and in a greater role. This will not be easy. It is a great role.
Lincoln held my interest for 2.5 hours. Yet the script is kind of like an extended term paper. It is mostly dialogue.
The movie got in some good licks on the venality of Congress. In the theater where I was, the first laugh by the audience was in response to a line on the utter corruption of Congress. The public understands. This was heartening.
The movie’s opening is silly. It shows two black enlisted men and two white soldiers talking to Lincoln. Three of them recite parts of the Gettysburg Address. This was in early 1865. Yet that 1863 speech was DOA, and he knew it five minutes after he delivered it. It was resurrected after the War had been long over. It is short. It therefore fits into textbooks. I had to memorize it in the fifth grade in an Ohio school. For my version of it — not politically correct — click the play button.
The reviewers have said that Lewis’ voice is like a whining voice. There is a lot of Web chatter about his voice.
As I listened to it, I had a vague recollection that I had heard this voice before. This happened twice, in two separate dialogues. Then it hit me. I knew where I had heard it.
Lewis was doing a plausible imitation of Walter Brennan.
Here is Lewis’ explanation: “Well, you look for the clues, as within any aspect of the work, you search for the clues, and there were plenty of them, but for me, if I’m very lucky, at a given moment, I begin to hear a voice, not in the supernatural sense, but in my inner ear, and then the work begins to try to reproduce that sound.”
His inner ear told him to sound like Grandpa McCoy.
So, if you go to see it, wait for the scenes in which the Great Emancipator sounds like this: