I saw Lincoln the other day. While I did enjoy it, I did not enjoy it as much as everyone else seemed to have. They all thought it was GREAT. I just thought it was good. And that is because I had some problems with it.
You see, I was spoiled by No Country for Old Men showing me how you can make great scenes without music telling you how to feel. Ever since then, I've come to resent when movies use a score to tell me how to feel. Unfortunately, Spielberg LOVES to do this. I wish the movie had another director, say, Bozo the Clown. Every time Spielberg says, "All right, cue music" Bozo can slap him upside the head with a stuffed sock and say, "Homey, don't play that."
The problem with music in this movie was it was so patronizing. You hear the strings start and you just know a speech is coming. That takes away from the power of the speech (by cheapening it into a gimmick) and makes the whole movie seem preachy. Guys, slavery was bad. We know that. You don't have to tell us.
Another issue I had was the title was a misnomer. The movie wasn't about Abraham Lincoln, it was about the 13th amendment. Lincoln was just, as fate had it, a principal character. (Also, one would think a movie about Lincoln, about the 13th amendment, taking place in 1865 that we'd see some of, you know, the civil war?)
Hate hate hate, all this negativity. Was there anything I liked about the movie? Sure! Specifically, the language. Boy those speeches (especially if they weren't in a poignant moment and therefore didn't have much music to accompany them) were a blast. I noted that, while I don't know if they actually were smarter politicians back then, but they sure SOUNDED smarter.