Copyright 1991
Friday, March 15, 1991

Tedious TNT epic belittles ‘Giants’ of art
Ginny Holbert

A Season Giants
Michelangelo Mark Frankel
Leonardo da Vinci John Glover
Julius II F. Murray Abraham
Raphael Andrea Prodan
Savonarola Steven Berkoff

Stone came to life under Michelangelo’s chisel. Unfortunately, he’s not around to knock any animation into “A Season of Giants,” a two-part mini-series about the artist.

The TNT production, made with Radiotelevisione Italiana, is a big-budget bore. It was shot in Italy and features a large international cast, but somehow it manages to turn the unparalleled artistic achievement of the Italian Renaissance into an unparalleled yawn.

As Michelangelo, British actor Mark Frankel flits from Florence to Bologna to Rome and back again, looking intense and quarrelling with his patrons and competitors. But the conflicts never amount to much and Frankel’s performance is coldly unaffecting. Neither he nor the film ever gets inside the artist.