I went to see Lincoln with my family on Friday. The theater was filled to the brim but amazingly quiet throughout. Although I had heard several people connected with the film interviewed on NPR, it had somehow escaped me that Lincoln was based on Doris Kearns Goodwin’s 2006 book Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln — a book I’ve long wanted to read.
Lincoln is well worth seeing. By focusing on a small period of time — after his re-election and leading up to the passage of the 13th amendment — and following him in a variety of activities and his family life, the film gets beyond the frozen-in-time hero of the Lincoln Memorial to the complexity – and ultimately, the depth of character – of this great man.
I rarely recommend films — few people share my taste and I hate to lead folks astray — but this one has so much to offer that it seems safe to encourage you to see it too.