Illinois is known as the Land of Lincoln.
But will it be the land of “Lincoln,” as in the new Steven Spielberg movie that goes into wide release this weekend?
We’ll know soon enough after the weekend box office report is released.
With legendary director Spielberg at the helm, coupled with top-flight acting talent, the movie already had a lot going for it. Initial reviews from last weekend are encouraging; “powerful” and “exceptionally good” were among the words used.
The film is unlike any other Lincoln-based movie in that it focuses on only the last 4 months of Lincoln’s life, specifically the fight to pass the 13th amendment to the Constitution to abolish slavery.
While Lincoln spent much of his adult life in central Illinois, he made several forays into the Sauk Valley. In 1832, young Lincoln, then 23, came up to Dixon’s Ferry to serve in the militia during the Black Hawk War.
In 1850s, Lincoln traveled to the region on several occasions to speak. He also likely passed through the area en route to other destinations.
Lincoln slept here; he stayed overnight in Sterling in July 1856 after delivering a campaign speech.
Statues in Dixon, Sterling and Oregon capture Lincoln at various stages of his life. But statues are static, and the subject’s nuances may be lost.
Actor Daniel Day-Lewis is said to have captured Lincoln’s essence. That’s a portrayal we are eager to see.
November is Lincoln’s month: it’s when he won two presidential elections, delivered the inspirational Gettysburg Address, and declared Thanksgiving a national holiday.
So, for Land of Lincoln residents who like Steven Spielberg movies, it’s the right month to become immersed in the life and times of our 16th president.
See you at the movies.