Tuesday, July 8, 2008
John Adams, the HBO miniseries, is based on David McCullough's exhaustive biography of this signer of the declaration of independence and 2nd president. The miniseries tries to do justice to McCullough's tome by paying attention to all the details of America's conception, all the documents written involving Adams, all the conversations Adam's had with all the great men of the time, and all the settings where he negotiated, primarily Philadelphia and France. In addition, the miniseries chronicles the story of his marriage with the great Abigail with whom he relied on for counsel and reassurance. So it's interesting and thorough, but at times dull. I liked learning about all of these events but an instructive, beautifully detailed movie does necessarily make for a breathtaking thrill ride. It's no Reds, in other words. And, besides that, Paul Giamatti's Adams is such a dour grumpy-frumpy man, one tires of him. Laura Linney, even appears lifeless after a while, and I love her. So if you want to learn a lot and see some fantastic historically accurate sets, John Adams is right for you. Otherwise, I would pass.