The student-run news site of Le Moyne College.

The Dolphin

The student-run news site of Le Moyne College.

The Dolphin

The student-run news site of Le Moyne College.

The Dolphin

Navigating College Stress: Effective Strategies and Le Moyne Resources for Student Well-being
Mai Aljanabi, Staff Writer • September 27, 2023

College life presents unique challenges and stressors for students, impacting their mental well-being and overall success. This article delves...

via The Huntington
Persistence Into Brilliance: Le Moyne Graduate and Actor Makes Major Mark
Kamilla Shahzad, Staff Writer • September 26, 2023

In the world of theater, Le Moyne College graduate John Douglas Thompson is known to possess an exceptional ability to captivate audiences, effortlessly...

Le Moyne Alum and MLB Star Josiah Gray Nominated for Roberto Clemente Award
Michael Scalise, Staff Writer • September 25, 2023

Here at Le Moyne, the phrase “Greatness meets Goodness” is at the very foundation by which the school stands, and it is safe to say that...

Career Advising & Development at Le Moyne
Career Advising & Development at Le Moyne
Carly Nicolai, Editor in Chief • September 18, 2023

“What do you want to do with your degree?” It’s a question many college students have heard before, whether it comes from friends and...

Growing Sunshine-Colored Flowers: Remembering Father Bosch
Growing Sunshine-Colored Flowers: Remembering Father Bosch
Stephanie R. Duscher, Staff Writer • September 16, 2023

Many Le Moyne students have likely walked by the lovely gardens outside the Jesuit Residence–a beautiful touch of color amidst the many cloudy...

Daniel Day-Lewis delivers as “Lincoln”


The fact that a biographical drama about the 16th (and, arguably, most beloved) president has turned out to be one of the best films of the year and offers perhaps the performance of the year shouldn’t shock a single person. A film directed by Steven Spielberg with Daniel Day-Lewis as the aforementioned president is an absolute no-brainer. In short, the only big question one walking out of “Lincoln” might ask is, “how did it take so long?”

The film, inspired by Doris Kearns Goodwin’s “Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln,” does not follow the typical biopic route and instead focuses on Abe Lincoln’s attempt to pass the thirteenth amendment and outlaw slavery, as well as the effect the presidency has on his family. Despite the presence of the Civil War, most of the scenes are dialogue-driven in small, claustrophobic rooms (the screenplay comes courtesy of “Angels in America” scribe, Tony Kushner).

Unsurprisingly, the film’s main strength is its brilliant ensemble. Even with Day-Lewis tearing up the screen (more on him in a second), we get top-notch performances from nearly everyone else. As Thaddeus Stevens, an early supporter of the amendment, Tommy Lee Jones turns in a quiet, but powerful performance worthy of an Oscar nomination. James Spader, meanwhile, provides some brilliant, chaotic comic relief as one-third of a lobbyist trio assigned to win over the necessary amount of Democrats to ensure the passing of the amendment.

But obviously, “Lincoln” belongs to Day-Lewis. Despite an initial reluctance to play the part, Day-Lewis delivers one of his strongest performances in a career defined by strong performances (see: “There Will Be Blood,” “My Left Foot”). His Lincoln is nothing more than a man trying to juggle the needs of the country and the needs of his family. He puts on the appropriate amount of charm and professionalism when surrounded by his fellow politicians, but struggles to maintain strong relationships with either his wife (Sally Field) or his eldest son (Joseph Gordon-Levitt). It’s a riveting, unforgettable portrayal of a powerful but conflicted figure.

Sadly, Field and Gordon-Levitt prove less memorable than the man they share screen time with. Even at his best, Spielberg can’t help but steer towards the occasional bit of sentimentality; most of Field’s scenes feel overwrought and Field herself gives a decent, but over-the-top performance. Gordon-Levitt, on the other hand, barely leaves an impact. His story is brought in and, after a couple of scenes, swiftly forgotten. Likewise, the inclusion of Lincoln’s assassination at the end of the film feels oddly shoehorned in.

These, however, are minor issues in an otherwise stirring drama. Kushner’s engaging script, Spielberg’s assured direction and the terrific ensemble hold our attention throughout, even when the political jargon threatens to overwhelm. And of course, Day-Lewis’s Lincoln is nothing short of a knockout.


4.5 out of 5 Dolphins

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