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Knowledge of our past is our inheritance. What we do with that knowledge will shape our destinies...

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Lincoln Movie Review + Top Ten Tuesday-New Authors & RMQ

Lincoln Movie Review

I was SO excited to see Lincoln and the movie did not disappoint. First of all, Daniel Day-Lewis. Need I say more? In my opinion he's one of the more talented actors working today. But this film was replete with awesome actors: Tommy Lee Jones, Joseph Gordan-Levitt (apparently one requirement for this film was that the main roles be filled by actors with three names) and Sally Field. Even the supporting roles were full of familiar faces including David Strathairn (love him!) John Hawkes, James Spader, Hal Holbrook (who played Lincoln in the 1986 mini-series North and South) and Jackie Earle Haley (as a southern ambassador working for Jefferson Davis, no less). All of them did an excellent job and I hope a few of them are recognized by my pal Oscar this year.

The story the film covered was not what I thought it would be. It was not a life-long biography about the U.S.'s favorite president. Rather, it only comprised about a month of his life--the last month--during which he was busy trying to ratify the 13th Amendment. The war was nearly at an end and they simply needed the constitution to reflect the changing beliefs of the nation.

The politics were, of necessity, simplified and many nuances left out. But Lincoln, in all his tranquility and gentle story-telling was superb. He felt real and alive in Lewis' portrayal of him. In a lot of ways, he reminded me of my grandfather, a gentle soul from an earlier time.

There were only two things I disliked about the film:

1) The portrayal of Lincoln's relationship to his wife (played by Sally Field) and how tumultuous it was. I don't know enough about their relationship to speak about it with any authority, and the loss of a child will challenge any relationship, but I do know something about Lincoln, and he was not the sort to be rough with his wife or threaten to throw her into an insane asylum, whether it was warranted or not. Furthermore, I simply don't believe that anyone could do as great things as Lincoln did without a solid support system at home. The way it was portrayed in the film, his wife was just as against him as the slave owners were. I'm sure there are people who have researched the relationship more than I who would be happy to contradict me, but this is just not something I believe to be true.

2) The film was a little rough-and-tumble with Lincoln himself. There's the above example of his insensitive treatment of his wife, but they also had him cursing a lot. Understand that many of today's cuss word weren't in effect back then, and the ones we take for granted and put even in low rated films were considered scandalously bad back then. Not only would Lincoln not have dropped the f-bomb (not even sure it existed back then) but I don't think he would have cursed God's name either. He was far too religious. Finally, there was a scene where, in a lashing-out of fear and sorrow, he slaps his eldest son. Even anti-Lincoln historians agree that that would NEVER have happened. I've found several reviews already that have said as much.

I totally get that certain liberties are always taken to make for better drama, but I didn't particularly appreciate this historical deviance from truth.

That said, they were relatively minor things and overall I was tremendously impressed with the film. It gives a good general idea of what went on and how it was accomplished, and it's inspirational and patriotic like nothing I've seen come out of Hollywood in years. I loved the politics of it. I loved Lincoln and the way he was portrayed. I even teared up a few times. (Shocking for me, I know. :D)

Overall, I would highly recommend the film. It's great for it's history and the importance of the events it portrays. It's sweet and inspirational and one I think everyone should see! :D

Top Ten Tuesday!!!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list  that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

Top Ten Favorite New-to-Me Authors I read in 2012

Okay, this is kind of terrible but I don't think I read ten new authors in 2012. What can I say? Most of the books I read were either re-reads or (more often) new books by authors I like and had definitely read before. As such, these were not necessarily my "favorite" new authors. (If you click through to my reviews you can see whether or not I raved about them.) These were just the only new authors I could think of for this year.

**If it helps, I'm planning to really delve into my TBR pile in 2013, so hopefully I'll be able to answer this question much more satisfactorily next year. ;D **

1. Robin LaFevers--her debut YA novel, Grave Mercy is fantastic! My review here.

2. Bethany Griffin--Masque of the Red Death exceeded my expectations!
My review here.

3. Paul Grossman--His historical fiction, Sleepwalkers, was edgy and eye-opening.
My review here.

4. Leo Tolstoy--I tackled Anna Karenina this year. I'm actually not quite done with it but I'm close and I'll definitely finish by the end of the month. This is one that's a difficult read, but I see it as an accomplishment to have gotten through it (even if it did take me most of the year). :D My reward when I finish will be to treat myself to the Kiera Knightly movie version currently in theaters!
Will review this one soon!

5. Elana Johnson--Her debut novel, Possession is a snarky dystopian read.
My review here.

6. Kendare Blake--Anna Dressed in Blood was one of my favorite books I read this year! :D My review here.

7. Katie McGarry--I'm usually not much into contemporary or YA, but I couldn't put Pushing the Limits down! This is a read-along-questions post but I never actually reviewed this one because I was doing a read-along. :D

8. Gary C. King--Gary's novel, Blood Lust: Portrait of a Serial Killer, is very detailed (translation: very adult) but it's also true crime at its best. He's also fun to read because he's also a very accessible author. My review here.

9. Phil Jordan--His novel,  Praise of Motherhood is a different sort of read but ends up being a beautiful tribute to his complex mother. My review here.

**All pictures courtesy of Goodreads.com
That it for me! How about YOU? What new authors did YOU read this year?

Random Movie Quotes (RMQ)

Don't know what this is? Check the tab at the top of the page.

Last time's RMQ was, "There is a saying, a very old saying: when the pupil is ready the master will appear."

This was said by Anthony Hopkins in 1998's The Mask of Zorro. No one guessed it. 

Today's RMQ is:

"If you want to receive emails about my upcoming shows, then please give me money so I can buy a computer."

Who said it? One point for character, one for actor, one for show. Good luck and Happy Tuesday! :D


  1. I am a huge Lincoln fan, so your points would probably bother me too Liesel. He was a very religious and soft-spoken person. I think they decided to update his image to make him cooler. I'm still going to see it, but thanks for the warning. I would have gotten pretty upset. Great list of authors too!

  2. Such a great TTT list! I really need to read Kendare Blake and Katie McGarry soon.