Lincoln, Blinkin, and Nod Off

25 11 2012

By Kleinz 57

“Do you think we choose to be born?” a solemn, contemplative Daniel Day-Lewis inquires as his rawboned frame looms over the imaginations of two strapping whippersnappers, anxiously awaiting approval on a wartime communique. “Or are we fitted to the times we’re born into?” For a fleeting poignant moment in Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, we give pause and marvel at the mythic qualities of such a towering historical figure. We also understand what the fuck these people are actually trying to say. John Williams’ piano leitmotif suddenly swells to a majestic horn spumes and the camera slowly moves in on our titular legend, a specific calculated bit of direction that Spielberg repeats for nigh fourscore more instances.

Day-Lewis bestows upon his enraptured audience a measured diction, a striking physiognomy in a performance made all the more tragic by a rightful bore of a screenplay. Renowned scribe Tony Kushner perplexes the masses with ventilations and repartees that vault and canter between aphorism and incoherent ramble that I have half a heart to give him a righteous piece of my mind over. Such a torrential flow was duly intended to be in service of a much greater and bolder depiction of the final stages of this Civil American Contention. Mr. Kushner elects to draw our gaze upon the backdoor dealins and fiery aspersions of withering and wigged white politicians, rather than afford such effort toward foul pleasures of savage behemoths of men splayed out and dilapidated under the forceful ire of an Alabaman conscript’s infernal brand. T’would be nothing more than a great bean pile of a lie to claim this depiction was efficacious in garnering my attention. I solemnly stand by that.

No doubt, few must truly assimilate the capacious Catch-22 President Lincoln stands against: Is it more to national benefit to seek passage of the Thirteenth Amendment? Or must we trudge onward, together, toward drafting an unconditional surrender of the Confederate legion? One can’t help to bemoan such a wretched waste of Ms. Sally Field and the spritely stalk of a young thespian, Mr. Joseph Gordon-Levitt. I reckon the exuberant bribery and lobbying of Messrs. Tim Blake Nelson, John Hawkes and the ever delightful James Spader provided a globule of dramatic color, but I might admit it was too little too late. When coupled with flashes of photographic inspiration, sublimely incarnating sepia-toned likenesses that persist in our collective memories, much less the devastating notion that Mr. Spielberg labored on this project for nigh over ten years, one wonders what brand of enlivened allegiance our well-intentioned creator draws his snuff from. Mayhaps only the very snakes of Eden and our own meeker angels of intimation might bely a solitary kernel of truth to the matter. Mayhaps.

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