‘Lincoln’ is a must-see movie

Peoria (Ill.) Journal Star: If you haven’t seen the movie “Lincoln” yet, you owe it to yourself to get to a theater near you as soon as possible. Bring the teens if you have them (with a caution about some of the language).

Not only is the latest from director Steven Spielberg a great movie - expect it to take away quite the haul at the Oscars - but it’s a great lesson in history, with a local connection, to boot. (Listen carefully for the word “Metamora.”)

Unlike some previous efforts at capturing the nation’s 16th president, the Lincoln here is portrayed as a human being rather than the secular saint he has become; as a mortal both uncommonly gifted and conflicted; as a president pure in his aims if pragmatic in his methods; as a man of his era in one sense but also one beyond it, trying to push the nation in a direction at least half of it did not want to go; as a husband enduring not the easiest of marriages; as a father wounded and compromised by knee-buckling personal tragedy.

In the movie’s attention to the passage of the 13th Amendment can be seen the civil rights battles of today.

As Americans we take a lot for granted, not the least of which is the idea that the events that brought us to where we are just happened, without visionary leadership, without sacrifice, without struggle, without martyrs to the cause. “Lincoln” may help dispel those notions.

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