The Better Angels (2014)

The Better Angels (2014)
  • Time: 95 min
  • Genre: Biography | Drama | History
  • Director: A.J. Edwards
  • Cast: Diane Kruger, Wes Bentley, Jason Clarke, Brit Marling


Indiana, 1817. The entire nation, only 40 years old and a few years removed from a second war of independence, is raw. Men, women, and children alike must battle nature and disease to survive in remote log cabins. This is young Abraham Lincoln’s world. Spanning three years of the future president’s childhood, The Better Angels explores his family, the hardships that shaped him, the tragedy that marked him forever, and the two women who guided him to immortality.

One comment

  • “All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother,” Abraham Lincoln famously said of his beloved mother Nancy, who died of milk sickness when he was nine years old. The Better Angels, written and directed by A.J. Edwards, is an evocation, a remembrance of times past, when Lincoln was an ordinary boy in Indiana.

    Edwards has served as editor for director Terrence Malick, and it’s abundantly clear that he shares and idolises Malick’s dreamy aesthetic and poetic sensibility. The Better Angels could be mistaken quite easily for a Malick work with its impressionistic narrative conveyed in lyrical wide-angle, deep-focus cinematography that also attempts to make palpable the swaying grasslands and the streams of sunlight that rain through thick forest canopies. Edwards is less concerned with the factual and more with lyrical realism and, as such, details are sparingly parsed.

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