Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Young Mr. Lincoln

An aimless Abraham Lincoln leaves his log cabin in Kentucky and moves to Springfield, Illinois where he picks up the practice of law, and wins over the townspeople with his hayseed sensibilities, but still doesn't see his purpose himself. Not until he takes on the case of two men wrongly accused of murder is he able to see he life's ambition. "Young Mr. Lincoln" was the first of many sensational teamings between screen icons John Ford and Henry Fonda. With Lamar Trotti's fanciful, Oscar nominated screenplay, Ford adds depth and grace with his directorial vision, most notably in the rousing trial sequence. Fonda not only bears an unexpectedly uncanny resemblance to the great leader, but also delivers one of his finest, most nuanced performances of his career. "Young Mr. Lincoln" is a humorous, well-realized and favors slice-of-life storytelling over the politicization or revelatory elements you might expect from this kind of picture.