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Archive for the ‘Filmography Discussions’ Category

Whether you’re a fan of the historic perspective given by Hollywood movie makers or not, HBO’s “John Adams” miniseries is worth a second look- even a year after its release.

See more at http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1588025/john_adams_one_of_the_best_new_historical.html

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It has been a year since the release of the HBO series John Adams starring Paul Giamatti and Laura Linney, yet the taste of raw history has not left me. I sampled the first episode, “Join or Die” with the usual skepticism-given the plethora of  Hollywood attempts at historic story-telling that have been nothing more than modern-day musings in period costume- and I was duly impressed. The noted lack of glamour in the makeup, the imperceptible lighting and seamless CGI work on old Philadelphia and Boston were both refreshing and unexpected.

 

John and Abigail Adams

Paul Giamatti and Laura Linney (HBO Press Kit)

 

Clearly, the acting was remarkable as told by the Golden Globes, Emmys and a host of others, but I was most taken by the dramatic way in which the screenplay was adapted for television. Every detail of the production seemed to suggest the meticulous writing that must have brought the  director of photography back in time, to a place of rugged realism where our second president lived with pain, disease and the struggles of a new country on the brink of independence. The viewer is not protected from the blemished faces, tobacco stained teeth and awkward ticks of those whom we may or may not have held to some imaginary higher standard through our grade school years. President or not, John Adams was not always the most well liked or perfectly groomed individual and this production did not miss those faculties. 

 

 

 

We watch a hardened man start an often thankless career in the legal system, stirred by the notions of good and evil, right and wrong, civil obedience and moral fortitude; live a realistic existence on screen as it must have really been. So much unlike the glamified productions of “The Tudors” or “300,” John Adams is far more the real deal. I’m not going to argue here the ambiguous discussions of some who think the historic accuracy faded in the middle episodes because I am not a scholar of Adam’s or Jefferson’s lives.  And although I found strong distaste in the episode “Don’t Tread on Me” where Adams travels to France because of its unnessesary sexual content, my overarching  belief in the project is sound. And so, I will stand up to applaud this particular series as a whole because it has one-upped the entire field where quality production is considered.

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