The Normal Heart

TO WIN A WAR YOU HAVE TO START ONE.

normalheartIn 1981, New York City writer Ned Weeks (Mark Ruffalo) talks to a physician (Julia Roberts) who’s doing research on what is then known as “gay cancer”; he also tries to get a gay New York Times reporter (Matt Bomer) to write about it. After turning the lauded AIDS-crisis play “Angels of America” into an equally celebrated miniseries in 2003, HBO repeated the same feat with this TV movie that focuses on how society’s inability to deal with the crisis brought anger to the gay community. A bit repetitive, but still moving and shocking as it gets to the core of just how awful those times were. Brought to the screen with passion by Glee creator Ryan Murphy; Ruffalo, Bomer and Jim Parsons stand out in the cast.

2014-U.S. Made for TV. 133 min. Color. Produced by Scott Ferguson, Alexis Martin Woodall. Directed by Ryan Murphy. Teleplay, Play: Larry Kramer. Cast: Mark Ruffalo (Ned Weeks), Matt Bomer (Felix Turner), Taylor Kitsch (Bruce Niles), Jim Parsons, Julia Roberts, Jonathan Groff… Alfred Molina.

Trivia: Co-executive produced by Brad Pitt. Parsons previously played his part on stage. Barbra Streisand had the film rights for ten years and tried to make a movie.

Emmy: Outstanding Television Movie. Golden Globe: Best Supporting Actor (Bomer).

Last word: “Larry’s passion and fire, just that idea of, ‘Why is no one doing anything?’ really resonated with me as a young man. And of course I had sex for the first time in 1981, the year the play begins, the year the AIDS crisis begins. So for me, I grew up thinking ‘Well I’m going to die.’ I thought, ‘I’m gonna die.’ Every day. I always thought like I was really on borrowed time, which is where I think a lot of my ambition came from, because I felt I have a lot to do and maybe not a lot of time to do it in. So, only when I finished the movie did I realize, for me, what a cathartic thing it was, and how much pain and loss and death that I had sort of filed away in my life. So it was very powerful, a very moving experience for me.” (Murphy, HuffPost)

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