Bringing History to Life with Lincoln
When I see the name, there are a few things that come to mind.
Lincoln Elementary school in Findlay, Ohio. It’s where I attended 3rd grade and the beginning of 4th grade. So many memories from those years, both good and some not so good. But it’s definitely what first comes to mind.
Next is a large cardboard cut out of our dear 16th president that lived in my 1st grade classroom for a year. I wish I had a photo. It was amazing. My teaching partner next door had a George Washington cut out. We won them at a social studies training and couldn’t have been more amused. We used to make Abe and George go walking down the hallway, peering into classroom windows, and waiting outside the doors. The kids loved it… for the most part. Some might have been terrified.
Have you ever taught 22 6-year-olds about Abraham Lincoln? Well, once they learn that he was shot. That is all they want to know about. I taught first grade for 4 years and it happened every single year. They also wanted to know why he wore such a tall hat. Oh the memories.
But now a new memory comes to mind when I hear the name Lincoln.
A Teacher Gets Schooled
In late September, as I settled into one of the most comfortable seats in a screening room in Los Angeles, I wondered what was about to happen. I mean, I figured I knew a lot about Abraham Lincoln. I had done a bit of extra research during my teacher career. My knowledge went a bit further than what I used to teach my first grade students.
But not much. As I quickly learned.
I’m not history buff but I had read my fair share of books. Bu there is something different about being enveloped into the action and the world of President Lincoln. Mere moments into the film and I was captured. I had been sucked into a different time and this teacher learned a lot sitting in the theater.
Believing in What’s Right
The moment I saw the first promotional image from Lincoln, I was blown away by the resemblance to images I’ve seen of the president. I’m sure I’m not alone in the fact that I wanted to see the movie just to see if it went further than a fantastic makeup job. If it got me into the theater, I’d say it was a great promo!
And as the opening sequence rolled and I was pulled into the history of America, I knew that it was going to go much deeper than a great makeup artist. Daniel Day-Lewis brought Abraham Lincoln to life in a way I hadn’t seen before. The film isn’t a celebration of everything wonderful about Lincoln. It’s a look at what went into a battle that meant everything to the man.
Day-Lewis brings the president to life with all of his flaws. He gives us a look into the man behind the legend. And he doesn’t perfectly, even if President Lincoln had his own imperfections.
A Mother’s Sorrow
While I was blown away by the performance of Day-Lewis, I was touched by that of Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln. At first I hesitated because I feel like everything I have seen Field is in has her playing the same character or same type of roll. I wondered if I would see Mrs. Lincoln or Sally Field.
While there are many Oscar-worthy performances in this film, I could not help but be pulled into the desperation of a mother who has lost a child. Having watched my own mother go through losing a child over the past year, I felt a connection. I believed Field as Mary Todd Lincoln and my heart went out to her.
But her story is just one of the journeys portrayed in Lincoln. Although I knew a great deal of the story, I found myself on the edge of my seat at the end. I was just hoping that somehow the history books had been rewritten while I sat in the theater. I suppose we all know how Lincoln’s story ends.
But the journey to the end, taught this teacher a thing or two.
Steven Spielberg created a masterpiece with Lincoln. One that can be enjoyed by those who are history buffs and those who are not. It’s about fighting for what you believe in and remembering what is important. You can learn more about the film by connecting with Lincoln on Facebook and on Twitter @LincolnMovie.
What inspires you in your life?
Formula Mom Disclosure: I attended #DisneyMoviesEvent courtesy of Disney. My flight, lodgings, and most expenses were covered by Disney in return for an honest review of the movies and events mentioned. All opinions and experiences are 100% mine. Some pictures above provided by Disney.