Angels in America
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Academy Award-winners Al Pacino, Meryl Streep and Emma Thompson lead an all-star cast in a 6-hour HBO Films Event. Directed by Mike Nichols and written by Tony Kushner based on his Pulitzer Prize-winning play: Angels in America.]]>
The story centers around Prior Walter (Justin Kirk) and Louis Ironson (Ben Shenkman), a gay couple that falls apart when Prior grows ill as a result of AIDS. But cancer is not the only thing invading Prior's life: He begins to have religious visions of an angel (Emma Thompson, Sense and Sensibility) announcing that he is a prophet. Louis, who doesn't cope well with disease and suggestions of mortality, leaves and starts a relationship with Joe Pitt (Patrick Wilson), a closeted Mormon who works for Roy Cohn (Al Pacino, Dog Day Afternoon)--the real-life right-wing lawyer, notorious for his ruthless behind-the-scenes machinations. Add in Joe's depressed and hallucinating wife Harper (Mary Louise Parker, Fried Green Tomatoes), his determined but open-minded mother Hannah (Meryl Streep, Adaptation), a fierce drag queen/nurse named Belize (Jeffrey Wright, Basquiat, reprising his celebrated performance from the Broadway production), and you've still only begun to discover the wealth of characters and storylines in Kushner's ambitious work.
The powerhouse cast (also featuring James Cromwell, Michael Gambon, and Simon Callow) is uniformly superb. The script has its weaknesses--some of the fantastic elements, including Prior's journey to Heaven towards the end, fall flat--but even what doesn't work is bristling with ideas and a ferocious desire to capture human existence in this time and place. --Bret Fetzer
- The complete miniseries (Part 1: Millenium Approaches, Part 2: Perestroika) on two discs
Top Customer Reviews
There are a lot of things that you could comment on in this play -- the exploration of Jewish-American assimilation, the powerful reaffirmation of a supposedly marginalized leftist perspective, etc. -- but the most profound insight Kushner has to offer is about who the real redeeming angels will have to be in our nation's coming cultural reconciliation. The humanity that he is able to impart into the character of the middle-American Mormon, Mother Pitt (played faultlessly by Meryl Streep), is a marvel of modern political drama: and it rings undeniably true. Pushing past our narrowly defined social and political "roles," and into our shared humanity, is the only road open to folks who want to see America's moral and ethical core liberated from the ideological intrusions of the religious far-right, and the resulting frustrated anger of the disenfranchised middle-liberal-left. In a strictly us-vs-them world view, Mother Pitt would be derided by those on the we're-here-we're-queer Left...Read more ›
Streep and Pacino deliver the finest performances of their careers here (Streep in 4 roles!). Emma Thompson is radiant. And the performances of Jeffrey Wright, Mary-Louise Parker, Justin Kirk and Ben Shenkman positively shine.
And the WRITING and DIRECTION! As close to Shakespearean as any American work I have ever read. And scenes that captivate in their composition and lighting, in their structure and their content. And a magical blending of profundity, humor, pathos, tragedy, and ultimately, the triumph of the human spirit over desperation and resignation. A musical score to match the high levels of word and vision.
In short, this film is nothing short of miraculous. All who worked on this masterpiece should be proud of their achievement. Angels in America stands as testimony to what the human mind can accomplish at its finest and most creative.
I was a lighting designer for a production of this (both parts!) while I was in college, and it opened my eyes then. To see a movie made of it is simply wonderful. I think Kushner did a wonderful job translating it for the screen. The director I worked under always said this play was really a film, and he was absolutely right.
I refuse to call this a movie because to me a movie is just another thing to watch. This is truly a film. It is film at it's finest, coming together with theatre to truly touch our hearts. Please, see this film. You will walk away asking yourself more questions than you ever thought possible.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The DVD was in excellent shape, was delivered well within the time frame. The movie was very well done and the message was a good one. Read morePublished 14 days ago by Karen W
One of the top 3 gay and AIDS related films of all time... The roster of star power is unmatched, really, while the direction by Mike Nichols is stellar! Read morePublished 1 month ago by More than what meets the eye!
Have been wanting to add to my DVD collection for a very long time! Brilliant! Heart Breaking! Ultimately triumphant!Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
I like to write when matters are fresh in my mind: This is a 6 hour film don't let that scare you as strangely after watching the Russian version of War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Andrew Stergiou
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