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Normal Heart [Blu-ray] (2014)

Mark Ruffalo , Julia Roberts , Ryan Murphy  |  Unrated |  Blu-ray
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (122 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Mark Ruffalo, Julia Roberts, Jim Parsons
  • Directors: Ryan Murphy
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish, English, French
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Hbo Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: August 26, 2014
  • Run Time: 128 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (122 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,037 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

Extended cut of "How To Start A War" behind-the-scenes featurette, offering interviews with Julia Roberts, Mark Ruffalo, Larry Kramer, and more.

Editorial Reviews

Directed by Emmy® Award winner Ryan Murphy and written by Academy Award® nominee Larry Kramer, The Normal Heart tells the story of the onset of the HIV-AIDS crisis in New York City in the early 1980s. Based on Kramer’s Tony Award® winning play of the same name, it takes an unflinching look at the nation’s sexual politics as gay activists and their allies in the medical community fight to expose the truth about the burgeoning epidemic to a city and nation in denial. An ensemble of searing performances featuring Academy Award® nominee Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer, Taylor Kitsch, Emmy® winner Jim Parsons, and Academy Award® winner Julia Roberts.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
53 of 54 people found the following review helpful
A brilliant film of a brilliant play: The tragedy of GRID to AIDS
Larry Kramer adapted his much honored play 1985 play THE NORMAL HEART, an autobiographical reenactment of the period of time from 1980 to 1984 when the mysterious scourge of AIDS decimated thousands of gay men. Ryan Murphy sensitively directs a cast of some of the finest actors in cinema and a cadre of actors form the stage in a heart-stopping reminder of a time when it seemed the world might just be ending.

The film focuses on the rise of GRID (Gay-Related Immune Deficiency) aka the HIV-AIDS crisis in New York City between 1981 and 1984, as seen through the eyes of writer/activist Ned Weeks (Mark Ruffalo), the gay Jewish- American founder of a prominent HIV advocacy group. Ned prefers loud public confrontations to the calmer, more private strategies favored by his associates, friends, and closeted lover Felix Turner (Matt Bomer), none of whom are prepared to throw themselves into the media spotlight. Their differences of opinion lead to frequent arguments that threaten to undermine their mutual goal. But that is only part of the territory this film covers - from the newly post- Stonewall sexual freedom as highlighted on Fire Island, to the gradual finding of Kaposi's sarcoma as badges on dying men, to the nation's sexual politics as gay activists and their allies in the medical community fight to expose the truth about the burgeoning epidemic to a city and nation in denial.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
By Nickie
When I sat down to watch The Normal Heart, I had no idea just how much I was about to be moved, amazed, traumatized, enraged, heartbroken, and enlightened. I've been passionate about gay rights and issues ever since I knew what it was to be gay, and I had not one clue how horrible the AIDS epidemic was at its inception. The Normal Heart is an unflinching look at a horrific time in our history where human beings were treated by the masses as garbage. Literally. And that's when they were even being acknowledged at all. Every actor involved gave an Oscar-worthy performance, ironically in a movie that is not eligible for the award. Mark Ruffalo's passion jumps right out of the screen at you, and in both its most angry and its most devastating, you're right there with him. Julia Roberts gives an Erin Brockovich-like performance times ten. Jim Parsons is wonderful in the first role most of us are seeing him outside of Sheldon Cooper, both with his moments of humor and more importantly with his heart. Many kudos also to Taylor Kitsch, Joe Mantello, Alfred Molina, Finn Wittrock, and of course Ryan Murphy for his fearless and beautiful direction. But Matt Bomer... Matt Bomer is THE star among stars, pulling at every single one of your heartstrings in one of the bravest roles ever committed to film. This is without a doubt one of the most important movies you will ever see.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
The translation from off-Broadway play to HBO film is an outstanding success. I saw the play in New York City many years ago and I had my doubts as to how well the play would translate after 30 years of AIDS treatment advances. However, the film just could not be better. It perfectly captures the vast disruption that AIDS brought to the gay community and the amazing acts of courage and community organizing that occurred during the early days of this public health disaster. Larry Kramer’s adaptation of his 1985 play continues to capture the tensions between those in the gay community that thought that the strategy for stopping the epidemic lay in constant outrage at those with political power as compared to those who thought that the strategy for stopping the epidemic lay in community organizing in partnership with public health officials and institutionalizing the response effort. The film also depicts those who brought their talents to fund raising and to the important and essential tasks of care for those impacted by the disease. The film is fair in this debate and leaves the viewer with the impression that all types of responses and strategies were necessary to curtail the epidemic.

Mark Ruffalo, as character Ned Weeks, is outstanding in playing the angry activist who demands action, confronts hypocrisy at every opportunity. A man who uses anger and confrontation to move the agenda forward despite making enemies in the process may eventually be unwelcome. He is also a man who converts his grief and fear into anger as he sees the deterioration of his lover, Felix, played perfectly by Matt Bomer.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
"We have to do something. No one else will." In the early 1980's a new disease that came to be known as HIV/AIDS came about and was affecting the gay community. Since it was only affecting that community nothing was being done to help find a cure or even talk about it. One brave doctor Emma Brookner (Roberts) was trying to help who she could but without support it was tough. When Ned Weeks (Ruffalo) a gay man with a loud voice takes the lead he has mixed results. First thing I have to say is that this is a tough movie to watch. The movie is fantastic and the acting is amazing but it's not really a feel good type movie that helps you relax and wind down. By default the easiest way to talk about this movie is to compare it to the Dallas Buyers Club. Both are very good but while McConaughey was great in the movie it seemed to lack any real emotion (to me at least). This one is so emotional and powerful that you end up getting mad and outraged at both the government, the ignorance of certain people and even Weeks and his crew. There are certain movies that words can't do justice to and just need to be seen. This is one of them. Overall, nothing I can say about this movie will be as good or powerful as experiencing it yourself. Just watch this. I give it an A.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A sensitive reading of a difficult subject.
Published 17 hours ago by David M. Charles
5.0 out of 5 stars SUPERB FILM
Absolutely a superb movie based on the Broadway hit.
Published 18 hours ago by Michael W. Hughes
4.0 out of 5 stars Vivid Evocation of a Turbulent Period in Recent Social History
I found Ryan Murphy's production rather difficult to watch. The action unfolds in a series of circular movements, with the newly- formed GMHC (Gay Men's Health Clinic) trying to... Read more
Published 1 day ago by Dr. Laurence Raw
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
I thought this could have been told better.
Published 2 days ago by cheryl smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very good story
Published 2 days ago by Kathycg
5.0 out of 5 stars Just an excellent movie!
Could not stop crying or weeping through the whole movie. This was all happening around me, as I lived through this period and buried many a friend. Read more
Published 2 days ago by george mendez
5.0 out of 5 stars AIDS as it was
The film version of this play really opens up our eyes to the plight of AIDS sufferers and their unwillingness to accept the limitation of sexual activity needed to stop the spread... Read more
Published 3 days ago by No 1 baldy fan
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 4 days ago by Ryan Conwell
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great cast great movie
Published 5 days ago by Douglas Finch
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
A beautiful and heartbreaking film.
Published 7 days ago by dolores plumlee
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