01.12.2013 11:31 PM


Saw it tonight.  Some days, surveying the landscape, it’s hard to believe a leader as extraordinary as him actually existed.


  1. Realist says:

    An amazing film. Anyone interested in politics or US history should see it.

  2. smelter rat says:

    Buzzkill. It’s a Hollywood movie.

  3. billg says:

    He existed because the media didnt beat the hell out of him for being a gangly, slow speaking, unattractive man with a crazy wife. Its why Marc Garneau cant win even though he should, and, its pretty f’n sad.

    • ray says:

      didn’t we throw Robert Stanfield under the bus for fumbling a fucking football and Dion for stepping all over his English? I like Garneau but unless progressives can come together (yes Warren I read your book) we are screwed. Can you even imagine Stephen Harper going on until 2020 and I’m not intuitive enough to see our reach exceeding our grasp before then but I sure hope so.

  4. Campbell says:

    I came away from the theater (after watching Lincoln) thinking the exact same thing.

  5. David RHIND says:

    Marc Garneau is not an unattractive man at all.

    • billg says:

      Garneau is not unattractive, but, the guy who is going to beat him is very attractive, has great hair and really good teeth.

  6. Sean says:

    Saw it a month ago and loved it. I’ve always been intrigued by the Civil War. I’ve been to Bull Run, Antietam, Gettysburg, Appomattox and Ford’s Theatre. Lincoln is one of those historical figures who show us that we never really know what we are getting with our leaders until they are thrust onto the stage. It is important for people of today to understand that not everyone supported Lincoln during his time. He wasn’t such an obvious hero, the way he is now. He was opposed by very powerful forces in the North as well as the South. The point is, we never really know how history will judge us, during a full blown moral conflict.

    Daniel Day Lewis of course was amazing and probably ranks amongst the best historical portrayals of all time.

    • The Doctor says:

      Very true what you say about the difference between the way Lincoln was regarded then versus now, and the way that we see that pattern repeated again and again. Even within a decade, a generation or a lifetime we see that happen with politicians. There are so many examples. Harry Truman was considered an ineffectual disaster when he was President, a failed President. He’s regarded much more positively now. Mulroney, and most significantly, two of his key policies — free trade and the GST — were loathed at the time, yet look at the view of GST now, where it’s championed by Liberals as wise policy. Nobody from any mainstream party is talking about getting out of NAFTA. Robert Bourassa is considered almost an icon in Quebec, a favourite son of the province, yet there was a time where he was absolutely reviled by most people in Quebec and his political career was considred finished.

  7. Shawn K says:

    The abolition movement was one of the early achievements of liberal ideology. Equality under the law, and freedom of opportunity are things that we now take for granted. Unlike the conservatives of Lincoln’s day, today’s conservatives (mostly) take these values as universal. A lasting victory for Lincoln to be sure!

  8. Billybud says:

    Much credit for this flick should go to Doris Kearns Goodwin for her research. She must be the best presidential historian in the US.

    • VC says:

      That is a view of Doris Kearns Goodwin that few, if any, historians actually hold for the fact that she has misrepresented the research of others as her own, verbatim. She’s actually earned a rather dishonourable reputation.

      • The Doctor says:

        I understand that she’s controversial, I’ve read the criticisms you mention. Whatever her sins as an historian, I’ll give her this, she’s one helluva writer. She knows how to spin a good yarn (which may partially explain why she crosses the line sometimes in terms of accuracy). I read her book The Fitzgeralds and The Kennedys, and it’s one of the best, most iteresting books I’ve ever read. Full of fascinating detail, a grand historical sweep and you get completely engrossed in the story.

  9. frmr disgruntled Con now Happy Lib says:

    Thought it was interesting how Daniel Day Lewis came up with Lincoln’s voice…..which unbeknownst to most of us, was in a higher register, apparently……


    • Swervin' Merv says:

      Thanks for resolving the voice question. The conversational and issue content is as rich and nuanced as a West Wing episode, which means that many fans will want to see Lincoln at least a second time.

      • Swervin' Merv says:

        P.S. – Since seeing Lincoln just before Xmas, in the run-up to the American “fiscal cliff,” couldn’t help but wonder whether it will clean up in Oscar and other awards–starting tonight–partly because Americans aspire to support the type of deft leadership that Lincoln demonstrated but seems lacking today.

  10. Terry says:

    I realize that the movie is based upon history but I am appalled at the language that was used to describe African Americans. I believe fully in free speech and the accurate portrayal of history but we are a civilized nation that has taken tremendous steps in over coming inequality and racism. As an African Canadian with African American ancestors, I know first hand what racism and inequality can do to destroy a people. The movie is an excellent reminder of the struggles my people have endured and is a further reminder of the struggles we still face as a people. There is honestly and absolutely no need for the N-word to be used in a modern day context when describing or portraying anything be it history, religion or politics.

  11. Michael Behiels says:

    Lincoln’s life, especially his rise to the presidency and the abolition of slavery, demonstrates the very important role that human agency plays in the development of the human species. There are, as Marxists rightly claim, many factors beyond human control, but human agency is central to the survival and advancement of the human species.

    Without leaders of Lincoln’s very high and truly inspired caliber, and such leaders come along very seldom, the long struggle from our origins in the jungles and deserts of the globe would have been much, much longer.

    It also proves that terrible leaders can set back the cause of humanity in ways that take generations to recoup.

    Everyone, especially young people, should see Lincoln.

  12. W. Stephenson says:

    during the American civil war, “Many Native American tribes, such as the Creek, Cherokee, and Choctaw, were slaveholders and found a political and economic commonality with the Confederacy…the Choctow owned approximately 6000 slaves” (Wiki). These Aboriginals fought on the side of the South to preserve a culture and way of life they believed in and thought was right…

    • Swervin' Merv says:

      Whether intentional or not, you misquote the particular Wikipedia entry on the Civil War, changing “A FEW Native American tribes” to “MANY.” This substantial change could be sloppiness or for ideological effect.

      A separate Wiki entry makes a different point that “many Native American tribes practiced some form of slavery BEFORE the European introduction of African slavery into North America; but NONE exploited slave labor on a LARGE scale.”

      Factual claims (and quotes) can be checked, while opinions remain as “free range” as some chickens.

  13. David says:

    I wonder what the slave-owner lobby would look like today…

  14. stevebakerifr@gmail.com says:

    I thought it was a spoof of Canadian Movie making (the bad lighting, the play like scenes) with Daniel Day Lewis playing Gordon Pinsent playing Lincoln. It was CSPAN meets Jane Eyre. A very serious but very boring movie. Still it was a remarkable time and Lincoln deserves some vehicle that will allow people of the 21st century to get a glimpse of what real cliff looks like.

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