John Adams

John Adams - HBO
a kate west review

John Adams, one of our early founding fathers, is now back in vogue. HBO brings us his story (based on David McCullough's Pulitzer prize novel) in a seven-part mini series.

The versatile Paul Giamatti plays a very real and human John Adams, with a burning vision of uniting the former British colonies into a United States of America. Laura Linney is his loyal wife Abagail, supporting and advising him throughout all of his different stages of life. It is remarkable to watch this touching relationship play out just like any modern couple.

And of course the history is fascinating as well. We first get to know Adams as he defends some British soldiers in an unjust trial and then through his direct involvement in the birth of our fine nation. This includes making the great journey abroad to the Old World to plead assistance from France and Denmark, in spite of the impact on his family life. He then returns, adamant as always to principle, in spite of failing popularity.

The casting is great, all fine actors, and many of them done up to look like the historical characters they portray, complete with the bad teeth and powdered wigs. It's filmed with natural-looking light too, with an addicting original and classical soundtrack. Fans of the book are well pleased with this cinematic rendition and for those of us who haven't read the book yet, it's a good insight into what it might really have been like for these complicated and dimensional revolutionaries.

If you enjoyed this, a recommended beautiful period piece is Stanley Kubrick's "Barry Lyndon".

Read the book:
John Adams

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