2. It's also one of those movies that literally put us to sleep. It makes us feel like an uncultured, unwashed hooligan, but we can't lie to you. We fought it as best we could, but there was definitely a snore or two ripping through the auditorium. We used to get the same feeling back in the days when we had to watch foreign films at film festivals. They may have been profound and artful, but they had no concept of pacing and urgency. Those... things... dragged.... along.
3. The first hour here is rather tedious and sloggy, full of white men standing around in old costumes and crazy hair and pontificating.
4. The last 90 minutes... better. We stayed awake.
5. We'd like to think it was the full meal we'd just had or the medicine we took or the horrible seats we were stuck with. But then again, it could be that it was just dull.
6. Things perk up considerably when the movie moves away from the drawing room oratory and into something that involves, you know, conflict. The sequences involving the boisterous, cranky House of Representatives are compelling. You know the current members of that august body would love to have the chance to openly boo and insult one another as is depicted here.
7. We're also curious to see the movie that Spielberg only hints at in a couple of moments, the one that shows the horror of the Civil War with the same unblinking fascination with the violence men commit that gave such an undercurrent of dread to Saving Private Ryan.
8. Daniel Day Lewis. We get it. He's amazing. But there's something a little mannered and forced about his performances, don't you think? It's never as effortless and charming as, say, Meryl Streep.
9. On the bright side, the last mainstream Hollywood movie to put us to sleep in the theater was Gladiator and that won the Oscar for Best Picture. You're welcome, Steve.
10. You can tell the script was written by a playwright. There's a clear love of language and words. But there's also a theatrical, stage-bound quality to the action.
11. The broad strokes of the plot are intriguing, no question. The back-room deals and compromises and white lies and arm twisting and threats needed to end slavery. These are the kind of machinations that make the government run. We wish more of this sort of thing happened today. Too much of Washington is pitched to the TV cameras and talk radio shows. But we digress.
11. Weird how everyday citizens could have a meeting with the president back then.
12. Maybe we'll see it again some day. But we still have yet to rewatch Gladiator.