Picks and Pans Review: The Perfect Tribute
This Civil War drama weaves a three-stranded story. There is a Confederate officer (Campbell Scott), gravely wounded at Gettysburg and taken to a Washington. D.C., hospital. We also follow the progress of the officer's young brother (Lukas Haas), who travels north from Atlanta to see him. And then there is the movie's most pungent element, Jason Robards as the beleaguered Abraham Lincoln, suffering through a crisis of conscience as the war's death toll climbs to unimaginable proportions.
Lincoln's Gettysburg Address serves as a mere prologue to a silly twist of fate that brings all three characters together for a king-size deathbed scene. While the period re-creation is quite handsome, the plot is contrived and maudlin—the Classic Comics version of the Civil War. Look for Katherine (Who's the Boss?) Helmond in a bizarre bit part as a camp follower.