“Giamatti’s performance is captivating, often poignantly so. . . . Tom Wilkinson has a romp playing Ben Franklin. . . . Stephen Dillane’s Thomas Jefferson is a quiet, introspective scholar. . . . David Morse at first seems incongruous in the role of George Washington, but the performance proves canny and haunting, unlike any portrayal of Washington ever.”
by Tom Shales
“John Adams” dramatizes the life of the second president, a Founding Father whose name is familiar but whose persona isn’t. That is about to change. . . .
“Adams” is the kind of classily intelligent production that can be happily recommended to everybody. The filmmakers, including executive producer Tom Hanks, have attempted to re-create and enliven history — and they succeed grandly.
Although the production is immense, and scenic values are enhanced by impressive digital effects, the two most important assets to the production are Paul Giamatti and Laura Linney. These exemplary and versatile actors seem to “know” John and Abigail Adams as if they had lived next door to them for years and played cards with them weekly. Continue reading
“Secured by immense power”
by Adam J. White
Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, portraying the president’s battle to abolish slavery at the end of the Civil War, illustrates one of the fundamental paradoxes inherent in constitutional democracy: that sometimes high principle can be vindicated only through low politicking. In the last week, myriad political commentators have explored the implications and applications of that point. But by focusing on “Lincoln the politician,” this debate assumes, or at least presumes, an even more significant paradoxical truth: That very political system needed to secure our liberties is sustainable only because the government is empowered to violate our liberties. Continue reading
“So in the end I am left not with concerns but with gratitude: To Spielberg for making this movie, and to my fellow moviegoers, for only when movies succeed will others make similar movies in the future.”
by Walter Stahr
I read somewhere, not long before my first book was published, that being a published author would ruin the experience of going to a bookstore. I scoffed, but I soon learned that it was all too true. A bookstore will have no copy of your precious baby. Or it will have one or two copies, buried so deep in the back that nobody will see them. Or the store has a few copies well-placed, but nobody seems to be paying any attention to your book, much less buying it. Continue reading