But the accolades for this film were not really a surprise for me. I knew Daniel Day-Lewis would win his third best actor through his role as Abraham Lincoln in this film. And Academy nominations for Steven Spielberg for directing as well as best supporting nominations for Sally Field and Tommy Lee Jones just proved that this one's not one film to be missed.
I was able to catch it on late night at CGV Yongsan along with a theater full of curious movie fans, and right from the start, Day-Lewis gave us a glimpse on the life of perhaps America's most loved president, who started to fight in 1865 for the Thirteenth Amendment in the US Constitution to abolish slavery. And as expected, the Spielberg way of story-telling made it easier for his audience to understand the complicated events of what would be an important time in American history: the Civil War, slavery and the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. A few gory scenes here and there, but that was because it was the late 19th century when America was still young and was at war within itself. Although I think the politics and politicking were just as interesting then as they are now.
The performance of Day-Lewis and the cast, plus the amazing production reminded me on how good Steven Spielberg is in making these period films. His Schindler's List came to mind. I read in TIME that during the filming, Steven Spielberg addressed Daniel Day-Lewis as 'Mr. President' during breaks, and that everyone in the set had to wear period costume in keeping with the 19th century fashion.
I am glad Daniel Day-Lewis won another Oscar for this. And I am also glad I was able to catch this film before its run ended. It was definitely one of the best films released in 2012, although only shown in 2013 here in Seoul.
It is still showing in a few theaters in Seoul, I think. So do try to catch this film and pick up a few pointers about American history and one of its greatest presidents.
(The official movie poster in Korean)