How Accurate is ‘Lincoln?’ Part 1

Like many people, we went and saw Lincoln this weekend. I had read nothing but great reviews and one even suggested you take your children. The person who wrote that review might want to change it to say “take your teen” because I took my eight-year-old and after about 15 minutes, he was asleep. And mind you, this is the child that stayed awake for the entire showing of The Conspirator, an equally slow yet historically interesting movie about the assassination of Lincoln.

Actually, I can’t blame him – the first part of the movie was really slow and it almost lost me for a while. But, then it picked up. If you haven’t seen the film, let me preface this by saying that if you don’t know the entire story (I didn’t), there may be some spoilers in this and my subsequent blog.

The film covers the last four months of Lincoln’s life and focuses primarily on his trying to get the 13th Amendment passed. I knew this was a turbulent time – the Civil War was waning on into its fourth year while Lincoln was trying to get this passed, but the film brought home the issues of slavery like no other I’ve ever seen.

At the end, however, I wondered how accurate it was. I know how Hollywood can, well, Hollywood up a movie. After all, they want to make money on it, so it has to be an interesting story.

I found an excellent article at The Atlantic titled “Fact-Checking ‘Lincoln’: Lincoln’s Mostly Realistic; His Advisers Aren’t” by Josh Zeitz. Part of the problem with knowing the real Lincoln was that he was a very private man. There are no diaries, no personal letters to go by. However, the film was based on a volume about Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin and it seems as if the film and Daniel Day Lewis portrayed Lincoln as he actually was for the most part.

Tomorrow, I will write more about this great film that shows the issue that divided our nation against itself.

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Libby Pelham

About Libby Pelham

I have always loved to write and gives me the opportunity to share my passion for writing with others. I work full-time as a web developer at UTHSC and most of my other time is spent with my son (born 2004). I love everything pop culture, but also enjoy writing about green living (it has opened my eyes to many things!) and health (got to worry about that as you get older!).