Sunday, March 16, 2008

John Adams: World Class Crank

Paul Giamatti is, as you'd expect, excellent as the cranky, brilliant New England lawyer who helped birth the nation, but first four episodes of this slow-moving HBO miniseries lays it on too thick about John Adams and his wife Abigal (Laura Linney) - - we get it, they love each other.

Costumes must have cost a fortune, especially when Adams goes to the decadent royal court in Versailles, but I saw a more spectacular version of all that in Sofia Coppola and Kirsten Dunst's "Marie Antoinette."

Fascinating period detail: Adams' kids all get scraped with some crude tool and infected with small pox pus to make them immune from the disease. Yikes.

God knows I'm no expert on the period, so I wish I'd learned more interesting stuff about the creation of the United States besides the idea that John Adams got over-shadowed by Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and George Washington.

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