The last two times we went to a movie theater we were the only ones viewing the show we saw. It was a little weird, but at least we could talk during the movie without bothering anyone.
Last Friday we had a different experience when we went to see Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln.” There were a few empty seats, but not many. It was only 3:50 in the afternoon, but a lot of people wanted to see that movie.
We both thought that “Lincoln” was fantastic. Daniel Day-Lewis portrays Abraham Lincoln so convincingly that I felt in my heart that I was watching the real president. And, I was surprised at how good Sally Field was as Mary Todd Lincoln. Her performance was also extraordinary.
The credits are filled with names you’ll recognize, and all of them were well cast. The writing was excellent – largely based on accounts from the era, I’m sure – and it was a beautifully photographed movie, even in the scenes where the subject matter was somewhat gruesome. I’d be surprised if the movie “Lincoln” didn’t receive a dozen Oscar nominations.
Both of us have had a growing interest in Abraham Lincoln for some time. We visited the new museum and library in Springfield a few years ago, and plan to return soon. We’ve watched the Ken Burns documentary on the Civil War several times, and Lincoln is obviously a major character in that. In addition, I just finished a book of anecdotes about Lincoln, written, I think, around the turn of the last century. The stories are by people who knew him, or had relatives who had interacted with him. I felt that I got to know Lincoln a little better through that book
Abe Lincoln was an odd (he even said so) and remarkable man. He had great humility, great knowledge, and great wisdom. He came to office at a very difficult time in our nation’s history, and knew the challenges would be great, but never turned his back on them, or blamed others for his failures.
I encourage anyone with an interest in American history to see “Lincoln.” If you’re like me, you’ll gain more respect for Abraham Lincoln, you’ll better understand the times in which he faced his challenges, and the tragedy of his death will become personal to you.
Times have changed in so many ways. Our country is facing a lot of challenges now, and it’s not fair to compare our current president, or any other president, to Lincoln. It would be something, though, to once again have someone with the unique experience and abilities that Abe brought to that office, along with his moral core and clear vision. Whether the modern day electoral process will allow that remains to be seen. For now, we can emulate President Lincoln in our own lives to the extent that we are able. Living each day with kindness, humility, and humor would be a good start.