Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Roosevelts: An Intimate History

The lives, exploits, heartaches, and achievements of Theodore Roosevelt, his fifth cousin Franklin, and his wife Eleanor (also Teddy’s niece) as the unprecedented political first family traverses early 20th Century politics in such ranging affairs as the building of the Panama Canal, the battle against corporate greed, the creation of the National Park System, the entry into World War I, The Great Depression, The New Deal, Civil Rights, and World War II among others told in this expansive documentary. The Roosevelts: An Intimate History is undoubtedly a passion project of Ken Burns and while certain aspects of the telling are less intriguing than others, there are no changes in the esteemed documentarian’s style, voice actors Paul Giamatti (as Teddy) and Meryl Streep (Eleanor Roosevelt) are wrong for their roles, and the series is long by perhaps an episode, it is still exemplary and even exciting filmmaking.
*** 1/2 out of ****