Pulitzer Prize winning historian Doris Kearns Goodwin’s biography of Abraham Lincoln, “Team Of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln,” is the basis for the Steven Spielberg directed film, “Lincoln,” which was written for the screen by “Angels In America” creator and Pulitzer Prize, Tony and Emmy winner Tony Kushner. (Tony Kushner was nominated for an Oscar for writing the screenplay for Steven Spielberg’s “Munich.”)
On May 18, 1860, William H. Seward, Salmon P. Chase, Edward Bates, and Abraham Lincoln waited in their hometowns for the results from the Republican National Convention in Chicago. When “Lincoln” emerged as the victor, his rivals were dismayed and angry.
Throughout the turbulent 1850s, each had energetically sought the presidency as the conflict over slavery was leading inexorably to secession and civil war. That “Lincoln” succeeded was the result of a character that had been forged by experiences that raised him above his more privileged and accomplished rivals. He won because he possessed an extraordinary ability to put himself in the place of other men, to experience what they were feeling, to understand their motives and desires.
It was this capacity that enabled “Lincoln” as president to bring his disgruntled opponents together, create the most unusual cabinet in history, and marshal their talents to the task of preserving the Union and winning the war.
We view the long, horrifying struggle from the vantage of the White House as “Lincoln” copes with incompetent generals, hostile congressmen, and his raucous cabinet. He overcomes these obstacles by winning the respect of his former competitors, and in the case of Seward, finds a loyal and crucial friend to see him through.
Sally Field is one of two actresses to appear in dozens of movies but to bat .1000 at the Oscars. Yes, only Sally Field and Hilary Swank have won all of the Oscars for which they were nominated. Sally Field has only been nominated twice for an Oscar, in the Best Actress leading role category both times, first in the late 70s for Norma Rae and again in the mid 80s for Places In The Heart. If we are correct in our prediction, she’ll win again for being nominated for Lincoln, becoming only the second woman in history to win three acting Oscars, still behind Katherine Hepburn’s four. Meryl Streep still holds the record for most ‘nominated’ actress in Hollywood history, with seventeen nods, including for both Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress, winning for Kramer vs. Kramer and Sophie’s Choice. More about the movie Lincoln, starring Daniel Day-Lewis, directed by Steven Spielberg.