Full Trailer for Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” available on YouTube

I always try to remember that a trailer often packages a movie’s best two minutes when it comes to what you see in the theater while nibbling your popcorn and waiting for the main attraction. Still, I am impressed by what Steven Spielberg promises moviegoers in the full trailer released Thursday for his Lincoln, which opens November 9. Daniel Day-Lewis displays a characterization of Lincoln as a brooding, intense, and highly principled man who struggles with his role in history. Even more promising are the supporting actors. Tommy Lee Jones  portrays Radical Republican firebrand Rep. Thaddeus Stevens, one of the most powerful lawmakers during Lincoln’s administration and an often sarcastic gadfly who endlessly goaded President Lincoln to do battle against the Slave Power and issue an emancipation proclamation. Spielberg cast David Strathairn as William Seward, the 16th president’s secretary of state and a founding force in the young Republican Party who vied for the party’s nomination during the Election of 1860. Despite the schmaltzy tones of sentimentality that comes from the piano tinkling away in the soundtrack, the intensity of the national division during the Civil War comes through loud and clear in the scenes selected for the trailer. Most importantly, there are hints that Lincoln’s devotion to liberty and freedom that he repeatedly acknowledged as stemming from his dedication to the principles of the Declaration of Independence will take center stage in the film. Movies rarely do a good job of presenting history rather than just simple entertainment, but I have even more reason to believe Spielberg’s film will the double-A plus biopic I hope it will be.

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