Aside from a pleasantly plump looking Robert E. Lee (as my friend and fellow Civil War blogger Steven Hancock pointed out earlier), this latest trailer for Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, directed at the international market, is the best one we have seen yet, and might even be the last chance to wet our appetites that we get before the film opens up on November 16th. While the “Unite” trailer from last month was outstanding, this one contains more dialogue and an expanded view of Tommy Lee Jones’ character as Thaddeus Stevens and one of the insults he uses to denigrate pro-slavery representative Fernando Wood (Lee Pace), a series of which one reviewer, who had already seen the film, described as “blistering”.
Something else we can take from this trailer is the inclusion of an atmosphere of reluctance surrounding the passing of the 13th Amendment, which would abolish slavery. As we all know, the Union’s and Lincoln’s goal at the beginning of the war was not to end slavery, but to save the country, before evolving to consider it’s abolition. Many people were worrying that this was going to be an ultra politically correct film where the anti-slavery sentiment was going to be depicted with nothing but approval. As you can tell from the dialogue, you will see this is not the case, and the depths through which Lincoln had to go (including a little bit of shady backroom politics in “buying” votes) to end it are clearly shown.