John Adams (2008)

Tom Hooper is one of the finest film-makers working today and this miniseries is truly a phenomenal piece of work. If you really want to get to know the founders of the United States in a friendly, up-close-and-personal way and in a relaxed setting, this is the show for you. It succeeds in humanising them into real people. They even attempt to get the accents right – an odd but effective mix of aristocratic English and Scottish with a bit of Dutch in there.

Of course it’s a paean, a tribute, there’s not much serious criticism here nor any attempt to dive into controversial issues like slavery and adultery (we’re looking at you, Thomas Jefferson!) It’s all very tastefully and artfully done in the manner of the best English-style period costume dramas.

Nevertheless, this is probably the greatest cinema yet made on the American Revolution.

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