Our 16th president stood six foot four (7'4" hat on) and was every tenacious inch, an American hero.
The nation's most spiritual commander-in-chief, kept no journal, no diary, wrote few personal notes and when unyielding to his inner wise-cracking joker, was naturally reticent.
With scant autobiographical means for a credible Lincoln biopic, screenwriter Tony Kushner scanned history books to peg the emancipator's enigmatic heart--that organ equally inspired and guileless as it was uncompromising. (The President's shady procurement of votes to pass the vital 13th amendment necessitated moves, Machiavellian and shrewd.)
Kushner's discernment feels apt, fair and at one point, we're ushered toward the Lincolns' intimate heartbreak where we can try to feel what it must be like for two people to lose a child. It's likely the source of Mary Todd's (Field) psychosomatic suffering.
I appreciate Kushner for including these poignant scenes about a troubled relationship. I find it refreshing compared to the usual stale slant re: (female) Todd's sanity. "We must both be more cheerful in the future," Abe tells his wife, patiently. "We have both been very miserable."
With Day Lewis' demeanor and Field's perfectly-played vacillation between spunk and debilitating malaise, Spielberg's historical diorama caught my heart, whole. This seat votes "yea", especially for Kushner's portrayal of Mary Todd and for her outspoken, fiery defense for the sake of her husband.