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Bond vs. Lincoln


Abraham Lincoln has already battled vampires this year, now he’s stuck battling James Bond in Skyfall. The winner is audiences.

Skyfall is not the “best bond ever” but it’s close. I prefer Craig’s first outing, “Casino Royale.” This Bond has a different kind of “outing” but I won’t spoil the scene for you.

Skyfall is packed with action, Oscar-caliber actors, and new beginnings for beloved characters. Judi Dench is always a pleasure as “M”, and Q and Moneypenny end up making appearances as well. Quantum of Solace, the clunker of a follow-up to Casino Royale was about a man-created drought, and it left audiences feeling thirsty, with Skyfall, after years of delay, they are finally quenched.

In the meantime, in limited release, is Spielberg’s Lincoln based partly on Doris Kearns Goodwin’s “Team of Rivals.” Daniel Day Lewis and Sally Field deliver amazing performances in a film that brings Lincoln and the politics of his day to light. Readers of the book will be surprised at what a small sliver of the story is actually told in this film. Essentially, “Lincoln” is the story of his efforts to pass the 13th Amendment to the Constitution before the war ends. It reveals Lincoln’s ability to persuade, his humility, his humanity, and his iron backbone. It offers a glimpse into why radicalism in the cause of virtue can sometimes be a vice.

Lincoln has its problems–namely when it involves inserting African American actors into a scene in a manner that takes away from the reality of the period. But all in all, the script was funny, accessible to audiences not passionate about history, and the performances were captivating.

Lincoln seems too short and one wishes that the whole of “Team of Rivals” had been put to the screen so you could spend more time with one of history’s greatest.

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