Everyone knew as soon as that first Lincoln trailer debuted that Daniel Day Lewis would win his third Oscar for Best Actor. He did in fact take home the Academy Award and now that Oscar-winning performance has arrived on home video as the Lincoln DVD and Blu-Ray has landed on shelves.
Director Steven Spielberg is one who embraced the bonus feature aspects of the DVD release early on, knowing perhaps that his fans would treasure every insight he gave into his filmmaking process. And Lincoln is no different -- but, more on that in a moment.
Lincoln is, first and foremost, not a biography. Some who took in the film were surprised that it wasn’t. It’s based on the book Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin and only uses a small fraction of that story. Spielberg’s Lincoln looks at the final months of the greatest president’s life and how he made it his mission to constitutionally abolish slavery.
The film is a political-legislative drama and deals with the maneuvering Lincoln had to do to get the bill passed. If politics is your thing, then Lincoln is for you, as we stated in our Lincoln review when the film hit theaters last year. Sure, it delves into his relationship with his wife Mary and his sons, and the Civil War looms large.
But this is purely a story about civil rights and the freedom that our forefathers sought to have for all and how one man saw it as his mission (that perhaps cost him his life) to take the founding fathers at their literal word.
Great performances abound, not solely from Lewis, but Sally Field as well as an amazing Tommy Lee Jones. Proof of the film’s power is in its award season run. Sure, it did not win Best Picture, but over the course of its awards run, it garnered 108 total nominations and had 47 total wins.
Movie Fanatic received the four disc super set. Among the bonus features that really got us going is The Journey to Lincoln. The featurette has Spielberg and his fellow filmmakers waxing poetic about their challenges bringing this particular Lincoln story to the big screen. Also compelling is the documentary A Historic Tapestry: Richmond, Virginia. The locale served as the primary set for Spielberg and in the bonus feature, they explain and show why with compelling results.
Another aspect of what makes Lincoln so great is the attention to detail in capturing that tumultuous period of American history. That’s why the Crafting the Past featurette only further enhances the movie-watching experience by showing how the team in charge of production design, costuming and makeup achieved such excellence.
Living With Lincoln is a fascinating journey, centered around Spielberg and the cast and crew as they weave this yarn that explores an important swath of American history.
Overall, this is a Spielberg movie that is a must-have for your home video collection. It is his finest work in a decade and with the solid film coupled with the bonus features, the Lincoln DVD and Blu-Ray experience is one that is full, fulfilling and utterly fantastic.