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'Lincoln', 'Master' best films of 2012

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Much is to be said for supporting actressAmy Adams, playing Dodds wife Peggy, who at times, is able to pull the strings of Dodd as he leads his followers. She is a powerful woman who is reserved in public, but behind the scenes is able to assert her will on her husband.

The films greatest flaw was its lack of direction, while moving forward, it never feels resolved and ends without much of a climax or real consensus of where its characters have landed. While it is a fascinating portrait of two forces, The Master was not Andersons best outing, which is saying a lot.

It was a portrait of two forces. One is a collection of natural urges and violence while the other an intellectual prowess determined to achieve order in the chaos of human nature. They collide in a small cabin on a ship at sea, both staring across a table, trying to discover what we are and master the world around us and the feelings within us.

While Master was an outstanding film, I have to give the edge to Lincoln as the best film of 2012, and I expect it to be the top award-winner in February.

Directed bySteven Spielbergand written byTony Kushner, the film is based onDoris Kearns Goodwinsbook Team of Rivals and tells the story of Abraham Lincolns attempt to pass the 13thAmendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Lincoln begins and ends with the absolutely brilliant performance ofDaniel Day-Lewis, who is truly a virtuoso, and the best actor alive. He brought the American icon to life in a way never seen before and one that can never be matched.

The film is teeming with great actors, each giving outstanding performances, especiallySally Fieldas Mary Todd Lincoln. Her grief and marriage with Abraham are complex and heartbreaking. She moves from inconsolable sadness to a wit so sharp, she not only stands her ground with Congressmen, but overpowers them in a war of words.

While wholly serious and depicting the politics of the time in thrilling fashion, Lincoln is funny and an enjoyable film, that creates a balance between the gravity of the situation and the attempts to curry favor with Congressmen over the amendment by some questionable characters.

Even though its main purpose is the chronicle of the amendments passage, the real truth lies in the man himself. Day-Lewis turned in the best performance Ive seen and his personal best, topping his otherworldly presence in There Will Be Blood (2007).

Lincoln was a man broken by war, depression and carried a weight few presidents have known, but his strength and will was unbelievable. Of course, there are still who question him, but how could anyone deny his achievements?

From sitting in the war room, reading correspondence late into the night or crawling to the floor, his frame slowly bending and folding at each angle, lying beside his youngest son, Lincoln was a man to admire and Day-Lewis cannot be beaten when awards are handed out.

This year may have been dominated by The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises but the true hero of 2012, and the true winner this year was Lincoln, thanks to Spielbergs outstanding vision and Day-Lewis unbelievable skill.

Editor Patrick Hall may be contacted at

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