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Daniel Day Lewis’ Performance in Lincoln Looks Horrible

Spielberg can ladle on all the filters and uplifting music this production can stand and it’s obvious even from the trailer how terrible Daniel Day Lewis is.

The voice is the first thing that most people notice. Yes Lincoln’s voice was not orator-quality, but it wasn’t the contemporary bland, “I’m Not British, but I Totally Am” accent that Daniel Day Lewis is doing that’s the equivalent of Gwyneth Paltrow’s Atlantic accent. His voice was reportedly high and reedy with a backwoods accent, which Lewis’s is not. And Lincoln managed to capture the audience, Daniel Day Lewis just sits there in 50 pounds of makeup looking like he stepped into the Uncanny Lincoln Valley and never came out again.

Maybe there’s some moment where his performance comes alive, but here it looks as dully as dishwater. This is shameless Oscar bait loosely timed for an election when people are engaged with politics and searching for a purity of inspiration. It continues Spielberg’s downward trend and may finally end the myth that Daniel Day Lewis is a great actor. Like Christian Bale, he cultivates intensity in mannered performances that have no soul or truth to them. Lincoln will make obvious what everyone knew all along.


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