Sunday, December 7, 2014

John Adams Movie Version

This mini-series depicts the life of John Adams beginning with the events of the Boston Massacre and goes until his death in 1826. It includes the major events of the American revolution, his time abroad as ambassador, and his work as Vice President and President of the United States. It shows his family life and the struggles that went through.

I have come to expect great things from HBO, and this was no exception. I have wanted to see this mini-series since it came out, and I finally got around to it. I knew it was going to be good, but it was better than I expected. The filming was beautiful, the acting superb, and the content was both interesting and moving. I think John Adams is often overlooked(many people seem to know more about George Washington and Thomas Jefferson), and this mini-series shows how important he was to the American Revolution and developing the government of the United States.

This film is based of the biography John Adams by David McCullough. I read it many years ago, and found it interesting. It has been long enough that I cannot say for certain how closely the film follows the biography, but they did use it as a main source for this film. Even though it is a seven part series, some parts of his life had to be left out, and I would guess more details can likely be found in the biography. There is just too much in Adams' life to cover minutely in a film. I usually like to review movies based on books I have read more recently, but I found this mini-series so incredible that I wanted to let other people know about it.

I liked as it showed the events of the American revolution, and the formation of a new government that it was depicted with honesty. It was not just a patriotic propaganda film. It showed a human side to these events. The difficulties, the personality clashes that made these events harder, and the family issues Adams had. The writing for this film was excellent. Having great actors such as: Paul Giamatti and Laura Linney in the main roles also made this a film worth watching. 

Although I enjoyed the whole series, I particularly found the last episode moving. Many of the lines are from letters written by John Adams, Abigail Adams, and Thomas Jefferson. There was something about hearing their own words as you watched the incredible acting that really struck a chord. I thought this was a great way to depict these historical figures--with their own words. Although this was written after this series was made, it reminded me of the book Dear Abigail: The Intimate Lives And Revolutionary Ideas Of Abigail Adams And Her Two Remarkable Sisters. I really liked this book. It is letters Abigail Adams and her sisters wrote to each other. This film helps illustrate why so many letters between them would have been necessary--both the distance and great events occurring in their lives.

This is a great historical film, and an important one. I think even those that do not typically like watching films about historical events will like this one. There are so many things that make this worth watching. I enjoyed it, and found parts of it to be very moving. It is one I would watch again.

I highly recommend watching this film, and reading some books about these historical figures. I would start with the books Dear Abigail and McCollugh's John Adams.

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