“Lincoln” (2012) is a fascinating movie for what it is, and for what it is not. It is not a biopic of the legendary president, full of fireside reading, rail splitting and debates with Stephen A. Douglas. It is a look deep inside the Washington sausage-making process that we know as American representative democracy. Along the way, it tries to reveal who Abraham Lincoln was, both his personality and what he stood for. It does a good job of that, although I doubt his every waking moment was spent earnestly saying profound things. Maybe he was just awesome like that.

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