Jansing & Co. , 11/11/12, 7:00 PM ET

'Lincoln' star describes parallels to today's political process

Gloria Reuben, who portrays Mary Todd Lincoln's confidante and dressmaker Elizabeth Keckley in the new movie "Lincoln", talks about the role and how the challenges faced by the 16th president parallel those faced by President Barack Obama.

‘Lincoln’ and Obama: A star’s view of an ‘unbelievably timely’ film

Updated

“Lincoln” opened last weekend to gushing reviews – and incredulity at its relevance.

Actress Gloria Reuben joined msnbc’s Chris Jansing today to discuss the parallels between the new film and the country’s current political climate. “We’ll agree Steven Spielberg is a genius,” Jansing said, “But I don’t know that even he could have predicted that at this moment when [“Lincoln” is] being released… you have a president who is newly elected, who faces a divided Congress and a divided country.”

The film follows President Abraham Lincoln’s final months in office following his 1864 reelection, during which he worked to pass the 13th amendment: the abolition of slavery. The amendment originally passed in the Senate but was stalled in the House of Representatives until Lincoln lobbied both parties to pass the bill.

It’s “unbelievable how timely this film is,” agreed Reuben, who plays Mary Todd Lincoln’s seamstress and confidante Elizabeth Keckley. The former E.R. star said she felt “emotional parallels” with former slave Elizabeth Keckley, citing Keckley’s “fortitude” and “belief in leadership and in the government.” Reuben called Obama’s reelection “a great sign of hope for the future and [for political and racial] divisions being resolved.”

The movie, based on presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book “Team of Rivals,” pulled in $900,000 on just 11 screens this past weekend and is already generating Oscar buzz. But “Lincoln” is also reverberating with politicos and film critics alike who praised the film for accurately portraying the common gridlock between the executive and legislative branches of U.S. government – an issue that still rings all too true.

'Lincoln' and Obama: A star's view of an 'unbelievably timely' film

Updated