I didn’t like the book, so I don’t know what made me think I’d like the mini-series. Maybe it had something to do with the cast: Ed Harris, Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Aidan Quinn, Helen Hunt. No wait, not Helen Hunt, and especially not after Empire Falls.
Just as it shouldn’t have taken Richard Russo 500 pages to tell his story about a dying industrial small-town in Maine, it shouldn’t have taken four hours to bring it to the small screen. There’s just not enough going on to keep your interest. Seriously, I fell asleep twice. Watching Empire Falls reminded me of why I didn’t like the book and why I didn’t care about or like any of the characters.
I’m still crossing my fingers and hoping for an adaptation of Russo’s Straight Man. [** out of 5]