Actor Daniel Day-Lewis as Lincoln in the new movie out nationwide Nov. 16. (Screencap from LincolnMovie.com)
By Stephanie Pawlowski
BLOOMINGTON - A local professor and historian calls the new Lincoln movie "smart."
Lincoln, by Steven Spielberg, is focused on the 16th president's final few months in office and his fight for the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, abolishing slavery.
"The last four months of Lincoln's life and the motive of the 13th Amendment gives a focus and an intensity to the drama that it wouldn't have otherwise," Illinois Wesleyan Professor and Lincoln scholar Bob Bray said.
Bray said the 13th Amendment wasn't a political risk, it was just a difficulty because of the division of states' representatives.
The movie, which had a limited release last weekend, is already generating Oscar buzz for Spielberg and Daniel Day-Lewis, who plays Lincoln.
Bray said Lewis' portrayal was done very well, but he does have a few small critiques.
"Lewis has got the accent almost right, although it seems to me his coaches and himself probably played down the Upland Southern aspect of Lincoln's accent which he never really ever transcended," Bray said. "And, Lewis' voice lies a little lower than Lincoln's."
Bray said his only misgiving about the performance was the lack of Lincoln's view of himself. He said if Spielberg had tried to do a full biopic on Lincoln, it would have been overwhelming.
Stephanie Pawlowski can be reached at Stephanie.Pawlowski@Cumulus.com.