Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,
I'm afraid this news will come as quite a shock to you, but I saw a movie in a theater. The trip represented my first visit to a theater since August, 2011, when The Hurricane and I saw the final Harry Potter movie.
As you may recall, The Hurricane visits me even as I write. She insisted I see Lincoln on a big screen in an actual theater. She said it was one of the most amazing movies she's ever seen.
So, thanks to The Hurricane, we drove to the theater and purchased our tickets for the matinee, and I'm pleased to report that The Hurricane knew of what she spake. Lincoln is indeed an amazing movie.
Based on the book Team of Rivals by my heroine, Doris Kearns Goodwin, the movie chronicles the final months of the Civil War and the passage of the 13th Amendment to The Constitution of these United States. The Hurricane knew the outcome of the vote on this amendment to abolish slavery, yet she found the counting of the votes suspenseful.
According to the Internet Movie Data Base (IMDB, which in some circles -- including mine -- is now used as a verb, as in "I'm going to IMDB such-and-such a movie because I can't think of the name of the actress who was in it"), director Steven Spielberg spent 12 years on his research for Lincoln.
I felt as if I were watching the actual events unfold. Every shot is beautiful.
I also learned a great deal about everything that was going on at the time. The Hurricane and I were amused by the fear some men felt at the thought of giving all slaves their freedom, because dammit, then they'd expect to vote. And if black men got to vote, then Dear Lord No! next it would be women at the ballot box.
Lincoln can also boast of lovely performances.
Daniel Day-Lewis IS Abraham Lincoln as I imagine him to be. I comment in this fashion because all traces of the actor are erased. Day-Lewis is so totally at one with this role that had I not been told it was Daniel Day-Lewis in the part, I wouldn't have known who it was.
The Hurricane and I predict that Daniel Day-Lewis will win the Academy Award for Best Actor for this role (if he wins, then I believe it will be his third best actor award).
Rather astonishing to me, though, is Sally Field as Mrs. Lincoln, or "Madam President" as Mary Todd Lincoln preferred to be called. She is outstanding. I don't know if she'll win an award, but surely she'll be nominated for Best Actress or Best Supporting Actress.
The Hurricane also believes Lincoln will win the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. How the dialog doth sparkle and move the viewer.
Thaddeus Stevens: Retain, even in opposition, your capacity for astonishment.
Lincoln has The Janie Junebug Highest Seal of Approval. If you're going to see one movie in a theater during this holiday season, then I recommend you see Lincoln.
Dee and Rita, I think you will like this movie. I'm warning the rest of you that it's not for children, and it might not be for you, Maggie, because of a sequence of upsetting shots when President Lincoln and son Robert visit a hospital for soldiers. There will be blood.
However, The Hurricane and I find ourselves intrigued by Les Miserables, which opens Christmas Day. Next week I might be recommending another film seen in a theater.
Oh! such wild times I do have with the fruit of my loins.
Infinities of love,
P.S. The Hurricane and I also discussed our amusement over people who said President Obama had no experience because he was ONLY a grassroots organizer. What were abolitionists? Grassroots organizers. What were suffragettes? Grassroots organizers.
I could go on, but I think I've made my point that grassroots organizers can be rather powerful. Additionally, they are OF the people, and not above them.