See “Lincoln.” See it, if only to learn how compelling a history lesson can be. See it, to learn how dedication to art and craft can produce a film that not only is reasonably true to history, but turns the muck and grime of politics into genuine, entertaining drama. See it, to see how our people now in Washington see themselves.
This is a lot to pack into a movie, but as they say, this one is “timely.” I sat in the half-empty Liberty Theater upper room the other night with great expectations. I had read that Steven Spielberg had gone to extraordinary lengths to recreate 1860s Washington City, down to exact copies of White House wallpaper and the ticking of Abraham Lincoln’s watch. The great actor Daniel Day-Lewis had so painstakingly mimicked Lincoln, the reviewers and historians said, that you could imagine yourself peeking back time and hearing the great man himself. For history buffs like me, this is exciting stuff. Most historical films end up compromised for modern sensibilities and thus turn into inaccurate rubbish. This was very different, and very good.