John Rockwell is Right

Hope you like the picture. It's the Concord River, swollen with spring rain as it flows past the battleground at Lexington and Concord. It was taken by my friend Chris Garbowski, on a visit last April from Lublin, Poland.

I just read John Rockwell's positive take on Paul Giamatti's performance as John Adams in HBO's new "series event" by the same title, and after watching four episodes, I agree with him and not with Alessandra Stanley of the New York Times.

In Stanley's view, the problem isn't that Giamatti doesn't look the part, the problem is his acting. She has got it exactly backwards. Giamatti is short, rotund, and round-headed; so was Adams. But come on, folks, behold their faces. They couldn't look less alike, and Giamatti's funny, rubbery face is what we watch the whole time. I'm not saying Adams was an Adonis; he looked like John HouseConcord-small.jpgman.  But on that fact, I rest my case.

So the problem is Giamatti's looks. But the series unfolds, his acting transcends this lack of resemblance.

This really starts to happen in the fourth episode, which airs next Sunday. (I'm watching a screener for a review.) In this upcoming episode, Adams represents the new United States of America in France and England, and in those aristocratic settings Giamatti puts his funny, rubbery face to expert use, portraying a Massachusetts Yankee in King Louis' and George's courts.  It's a delightful embodiment of what it meant at the time to be an American, never mind a champion of the rights of man and republican government.
March 25, 2008 10:03 PM |



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This page contains a single entry by Martha Bayles published on March 25, 2008 10:03 PM.

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