News From Terre Haute, Indiana


December 1, 2012

RONN MOTT: Friends, you must see this movie ‘Lincoln’

Through the movie camera lens darkly, Steven Spielberg transforms the 21st Century to the 19th Century through film. None of us alive today can relate to that time when a person would step outside and it was very, very dark. Street lights barely covered the sidewalk nearest the light pole. Inside it was gas lights, kerosene lamps, and candles. In 1865, homes were heated, almost without exception, by Ben Franklin stoves and fireplaces which dotted nearly every room.  

So there’s Daniel Day-Lewis as Mr. Lincoln, stooped, loving a good story, and just as worried about his small son’s play activity (that would be Tad Lincoln) as he was trying to carve out an amendment to the Constitution that would free all men, regardless of color, forever and ever.  

The intrigue that went into this jumps out at you as if you were trapped in a bad dream … Republicans fighting Republicans, those who wanted to free the slaves were called radicals. And Democrats in that Congress, a Civil War Congress, were considered not much better than an old, cur dog that would sleep near your carriage on the side of the road. It was a political scrambled egg (I think this movie should be shown to every school-age child in America).

It would seem to me it was a 200-year-old mirror being held up to today’s Congress. Of course, there are more congressional members now, but they haven’t gotten an iota smarter than they were in 1865. In fact, the 1865 political scramble finally got something important done and these congressmen today are a bunch of idiots.

This movie has been so well cast that whoever was responsible for the selection should receive an Oscar. But I don’t think they give one for that.

Daniel Day-Lewis has given us the most accurate look at Abraham Lincoln since before his death … his stooped walk, his poking the fireplace, his wearing a shawl in rooms that were obviously rather cold in 1865. By now, you have probably heard that once Daniel Day-Lewis found the voice he thought was close to Mr. Lincoln’s, he would speak in that voice on and off camera.

Sally Field was magnificent as Mary Todd Lincoln. She was feisty, poking her nose into all businesses of a president, and sometimes being a virtual nag. And all the time being somebody you could see was loved by the president.

I suppose, for me, perhaps the biggest surprise was Tommy Lee Jones, who played the radical congressman from Pennsylvania, Thaddeus Stevens. Stevens was a radical of all radicals in this storyline. Of course, that’s how he was in real life. I suspect the golden Oscar will be waiting in line to be grasped by many in this cast. And if Steven Spielberg does not win an Oscar, there’s no intelligence left in Hollywood.

It leads me to something my old radio friend, B.T., said after the movie … “Ronn, make sure you tell everyone as you write about this, America needs more adult movies like this one.”

Good writing, good directing, and a great film. Folks, if you only see one movie this year, see “Lincoln.”

Ronn Mott, a longtime radio personality in Terre Haute, writes commentaries for the Tribune-Star. His pieces are published online Tuesday and Thursday on, and in the print and online editions on Saturday.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News Poll
AP Video
Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Airstrike Shatters Fragile Calm in Gaza Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Fox Dons 'Bondage Strap' Skirt at Comic-Con 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma Video Shows Smiling American Bomber in Syria Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites
NDN Video
'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -


    March 12, 2010