Lincoln, American Politics 1865 (Film Review)

The biopic film Lincoln provides a look at how politics changed the United States in the final months of the 16th President’s life.  It’s a dark boding story that takes you into the heart of a historical political debate, a congress divided and a family being pulled apart. If you like films with educational substance, excellent acting and dark cinematography, then Lincoln should top your “must see” list.

The Civil War continues to drag on with over 600 thousand casualties and there doesn’t seem to be an end to the continental dispute.  Republican President Lincoln (Daniel Day-Lewis) finds himself getting close to an amicable exit plan, but he wants to tack on an emancipation bill. It will take major Read more


Set in France, The Conquest could have easily been translated to a spoof on the government of the United States.  Good acting by Denis Podalydes keeps the story realistic and direction by Xavier Durringer shows he has his finger on the political pulse. If you like a witty take on ‘getting to the top of the food chain,’ then go see The Conquest.

Always bucking his boss President Jacques Chirac (Bernard Le Coq), Nicolas Sarkozy (Denis Podalydes) has his own way of getting elected, telling what the country wants to hear.  But, Chirac wants to get re-elected, so he keeps Sarkozy at bay as one of his cabinet members.  Sarkozy takes a try at Prime Minister and gets defeated by his arch nemeses Dominique de Villepin (Samuel Labarthe).  Never down on a loss he predicts that in 5 years he will be President.  Chirac gets offended with his statement and a rivalry begins.  But, Sarkozy has a lot up his sleeve, as long as his wife doesn’t do him in first.

The movie moves along fast with the opening showing Sarkozy at the last few days before his election for President.  Flashing back we get all the gory details on his fight to the top. Podalydes pulls out a very good performance as the man who wants it all.  His mannerisms, demeanor and oratory prowess shows his ability to look like a politician, at least some of the American ones of late.  I like the way he shapes his character, uses his support actors and keeps the tempo of the not to be denied candidate.

Nicolas Sarkozy (Denis Podalydes) in front leads his staff to a rally

The timing for the film to be shown in the United States is good and if he can gather an audience, Durringer’s film should have strength among the political science fanatics, gung ho candidate supporters and ardent political party members.  Beyond that, audiences for the film dwindle fast because French whit doesn’t translate as easily here as abroad.

The Conquest has not be rated by the MPAA but does contain some language.   The film is shown in the French language with English subtitles.  My one comment on this: The French people talk very fast, so the subtitles fly by at a very quick pace.

FINAL ANALYSIS: Get your campaign workers together for a night out with The Conquest. (C+)