THE PLANK MARCH 17, 2008
For those who missed last night's premiere of HBO's seven-part miniseries on John Adams: Hope for
a replay! I watched, riveted, for two hours straight as director Tom Hooper
painstakingly followed the tracks laid out in David McCullough's fine biography of our second president. I reserve no particular
affinity for Paul Giamatti, but Laura Linney is probably my favorite actress working
today; her turn as the stoic Abigail Adams is more fuel for the fire. The period
sets and costuming (Wigs! Breeches! Dirty fingernails!), clearly the product of
some type-A, on-site historian, are also up my alley.
As for the politics--the biopic couldn't come at a better
time. The scenes inside the Continental Congress smack a bit of "Law and Order"--but everyone loves a legal drama. And in this modern moment, wherein real sacrifice, by real people, is hardly the
price of freedom, any reminder of how much was at stake at America's inception is
welcome. I had always thought the French Revolution was the "coolest"
(Since it's anniversary
time: I spent the eve of the Iraq war at the place de la Bastille, shouting