I finally had the chance to see the movie Lincoln (November and December get a bit crazy for me at church). It did not disappoint. After seeing Gangs of New York I became a Daniel Day-Lewis fan. My only disappointment with the movie was that I never noticed that it was Daniel Day-Lewis playing the role. He so absorbed himself into the part. (When he decided on the voice he would use he recorded it and sent a tape to Spielberg so that he would hear it first). While the voice caught myself and others off guard at first, it is most likely accurate according to what historians tell us. Day-Lewis described playing the role like this:
“I never, ever felt that depth of love for another human being that I never met. And that’s, I think, probably the effect that Lincoln has on most people that take the time to discover him… I wish he had stayed [with me] forever.”
On a personal note, one of the things that Lincoln says in a speech in the movie that I enjoyed: “I could write shorter sermons but when I get started I’m too lazy to stop.”
In hindsight, we look onto the wisdom of Lincoln and it stands far beyond what most people are capable in their lifetime. As Mary Todd Lincoln says in the movie to her husband, “No one has ever lived who knows better than you the proper placement of footfalls on treacherous paths.” May we learn to do the same.
Perhaps the quote that lingered with me the most was a conversation that Lincoln had about true north. He is discussing with Abolitionist Thaddeus Stevens on the wisest way to strategically achieve the end result that they want. When Stevens proposes an all-or-nothing type argument, Lincoln replies:
“The compass points you true north but does not warn you of obstacles and swamps along the way… If you can’t avoid the swamps, what good is true north?”
If you are looking for an entire overview of his life, or a play-by-play of the civil war… you’ll be disappointed. The story focuses primarily on the passage of the thirteenth amendment. If you are looking for an inspirational look at leadership and courage in the face of opposition then you’ll find few that can compare.
Click here to read all of my posts on Abraham Lincoln.