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Cinema ian 2/9/2013

Lincoln is now showing at Odeon Cinemas in Kensington.

Later this month we will see which movies take home those iconic Oscar statuettes.  Lincoln tops the nomination list with 12 including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress and, according to the betting odds, it is a shoe-in for three of those.

Dylan Thomas may have said that Lincoln is excellence in craft rather than sullen art.  The critics are loving it – audiences seem a bit divided.  Perhaps the first thing to do before heading into the cinema is to prepare yourself for a two-and-a-half-hour talkfest about pushing through the 13th Amendment – the one that abolished slavery.  Then prepare yourself for a compelling dramatic journey with amazing acting performances, superb writing, unexpected humour and Spielberg at his most confident.  It is a subtle, clever, passionate film with a performance from Daniel Day-Lewis that paints an indelible portrait.

In a nation divided by war and ideology, Lincoln pursues a course of action designed to end the conflict, unite the country and abolish slavery. In doing so, he changed a country… a change that took from 1865 to now for some Americans to accept.  The fact that the first Afro-American President is in the White House makes the movie resonate even more.

Unlike earlier myth-making takes on America’s most beloved president, Spielberg and his prestige screenwriter Tony Kushner recreate Lincoln as a man juggling morality, chicanery, war-waging and family troubles rather than as a monument-in-waiting… It’s The West Wing in wing-collars, culminating in a nail-biting day of reckoning. (Kate Stables, Total Film)

Steven Spielberg has crafted a literate, heartfelt film about Abraham Lincoln’s second term in office and his battle to end slavery, with a masterful central performance… what a feat from Day-Lewis: the nearest thing a 21st-century biopic can get to a séance.  (Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian)