John Adams: The HBO Miniseries
There are many faults with the show. It does deviate from David McCullough's book, John Adams, quite a bit in places. I am not going to delve into the differences as you can find them on Wikipedia or picked them out yourselves while watching. I do not think they detract seriously from the general historical concept that much or in such a way as to seriously distort the past. Unfortunately, history has to take a back seat in film at times in order to accommodate constructing an audience, introducing conflict which is the key element in gaining an audience and keeping it, and production necessities.
What was great is that the producers were able to capture the conflict of the periods the series covers and let the characters interact with each other in the context of the conflict. Let's face it, John Adams was a man who thrived on conflict. He was at his best at the heart of conflict's maelstrom even if he was vain and impetuous at the same time. When he lacked conflict, he either sought some out or manufactured it.
|Paul Giamatti as John Adams|
|Jefferson, Adams, Franklin|
|Laura Linney as Abigail Adams|
Laura Linney as Abigail Adams though was a stroke of genius. We often ignore the role of passion between husband and wife at this time. Both John and Abigail had passion for each other. It may have been in the context of the time, but those two were a match for each other. Giamatti and Linney have some real chemistry in their scenes. The restraint, the deference, and the passion come forth and I think this may be their best acting. Both won major awards for their performance and I think they were well deserved by both.
|David Morse as George Washington|
|Stephen Dillane as Thomas Jefferson with Giamatti and Linney|
Tomorrow: Showing clips of John Adams to my survey class.