The Normal Heart (2014)
Critic Consensus: Thanks to Emmy-worthy performances from a reputable cast, The Normal Heart is not only a powerful, heartbreaking drama, but also a vital document of events leading up to and through the early AIDS crisis.
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as Ned Weeks
as Felix Turner
as Bruce Niles
as Tommy Boatwright
as Dr. Emma Brookner
as Ben Weeks
as Mickey Marcus
as Hiram Keebler
as John Bruno
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Critic Reviews for The Normal Heart
There is less reporting on poverty in America than on any other major societal issue. So it is with AIDS. That alone makes The Normal Heart an important film.
If anger and suffering were all there were to The Normal Heart, watching it would be torture. Luckily, it has heart to match its guts.
Matt Bomer is heartbreaking as a New York Times style reporter looking for love in a loveless city. His physical transformation is astonishing and agonizing.
Time, and rewrites, have softened some of the play's stridency. More important, the romance between Weeks (Ruffalo) and his lover, Felix (Bomer), is given a more prominent role as is Felix's death spiral, giving the story power both broad and intimate.
Moving, well acted and important for a generation who may be unfamiliar with the source material. But the TV version, also written by Kramer, doesn't have the emotional heft of the play.
Audience Reviews for The Normal Heart
With wonderful performances from an excellent cast, this extremely important, heartbreaking and infuriating drama exposes the revolting indifference and intolerance of American authorities in the early years of the AIDS epidemics, which cost the lives of a lot of gay people.
A profoundly moving film (even if a bit awkward in transitioning from stage to screenplay). A remarkable performance by Ruffalo, of a caliber I have never seen from him before. A great performance from Roberts as well. For those under 30 years old, this is an effective way of communicating the desperation and fear of a time that should not be forgotten. Highly recommended.
A fine effort but And the Band Played On and Longtime Companion told similar stories better.
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