Inspired by true events, director Steven Spielberg has again forged history into a fascinating movie. It's 1957 and the height of the Cold War when the CIA involves insurance litigator Jim Donovan in a spy trial and eventually a spy swap: Soviet spy Rudolf Abel captured in the U.S. for student Frederic Pryor and Lt. Francis Gary Powers, our U-2 pilot shot down and held by the Soviets.
This is a complex biopic, not easily accessible without your doing some homework. It helps if you've visited the Lincoln Museum in Springfield, Ill. It helps, too, if you've studied the democratic process and know the ambiance of the rough House of Representatives, say, over that of the sedate Senate. Also helpful is an understanding of the parallel lines of the 13th Amendment and the peace treaty that ended our Civil War. "Lincoln" covers these areas while concentrating on Abraham Lincoln, the man of wit and wisdom.