Click photo to enlarge
Writer Tony Kushner, left, director Steven Spielberg, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, pause during a media availability before a screening of the movie "Lincoln," for members of Congress, on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012 in Washington.
WASHINGTON—Today's lawmakers might be excused for thinking they've seen this movie: A recently re-elected president spars with a quarrelsome Congress over an issue that roils the nation.

The so-called fiscal cliff wasn't at the core of the film screened Wednesday in the Capitol for lawmakers. The movie "Lincoln" explores the political machinations involving President Abraham Lincoln and Congress in 1865 as they considered the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery.

On hand before the evening screening at the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center were the movie's director, Steven Spielberg, and its star, Daniel Day-Lewis, who portrays Lincoln. Both also met privately with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Earlier Wednesday, reporters and congressional staff members filled a Senate corridor to get a view of Day-Lewis, considered a top contender for an Oscar.