KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Two-time Oscar winner Daniel Day-Lewis delivers a powerful and unforgettable performance as the 16th president of the United States in Lincoln.
Day-Lewis joins a dynamic cast of Sally Field and Tommy Lee Jones -- all of whom have a promising shot at Oscar gold.
While Lincoln is directed by master of cinema Steven Spielberg, it isn't for everyone. It's less of a biopic and more of a bureaucratic drama chronicling the abolition of slavery, which can sometimes border on dry for the non-policy-wonks among you.
But the performances make it worth seeing.
Watching the two political parties engage in furious debate over the 13th Amendment is, at times, like a high-drama C-SPAN. Take out the issue of slavery, and these same divisions are evident between Congress and the White House today.
Jones, playing radical congressman Thaddeus Stevens, delivers an Oscar-worthy performance as a profound moralist fighting the lack of humanity he sees in his foes.
Day-Lewis portrays Lincoln as a politician in his prime: A captivating storyteller, who sometimes spends more time charming audiences than focusing on the issues at hand.
While in character, Day-Lewis is unrecognizable. Yes, he's got the full-grown beard and trademark top hat. But what is most powerful is the tender voice that emanates from this pillar of a man, true to history.
As a whole, Lincoln is an Oscar gem. It's filled with raw talent both in front of and behind the camera.
Spielberg continues to prove why he's the greatest filmmaker of all time, while Day-Lewis delivers yet another impeccable performance. Even the costume and set designs are exceptional.
Look for Lincoln to be a heavy favorite in at least six Academy Award categories. It's a true story with Oscar gold written all over it.
FINAL GRADE: A
Lincoln is rated PG-13 for an intense scene of war violence, some images of carnage and brief strong language.
Runtime: 2 hours and 29 minutes.
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Thursday, NBC presents a variation of that film classic with a live stage production starring Carrie Underwood.