Don’t miss “The Normal Heart” on HBO tonight
Director Ryan Murphy has talked about coming of age during the onset of the AIDS epidemic and how for a long time he equated intimacy with death.
I can relate.
That’s why his film, The Normal Heart, resonated so deeply with me when I saw it last week.
I survived but so many – too many – did not.
It’s so important that younger people see this movie and get acquainted with the horrors of the early 1980s when so little was known and so little was done. It is shameful how indifferent the people in power – politics, medical community – were towards gays and AIDS which has killed 36 million people.
It’s all so powerful and heartbreaking to revisit the gay community at a time when it was under such siege fighting for their lives.
Larry Kramer is one of the absolute heroes in the fight for attention and the call for action. This film version of his landmark play which debuted in 1985 is a must-see.
Mark Ruffalo plays the character based on Kramer and he is perfection as he captures the understandable rage his character feels and also beautifully captures a tenderness in his relationship with Felix Turner played by Matt Bomer.
Much has been made of Bomer’s losing around 40 pounds for the second part of the movie as his character deteriorates. In the performance of his career, he is at the center of the film’s most heartbreaking scenes and I was not the only person in the theater openly weeping.
Julia Roberts gives one of her finest performances ever as a doctor who works with Ned in trying to care for people and find answers. She is somewhat restrained but her eyes say so much.
Jim Parsons is wonderful, Taylor Kitsch very strong and Joe Mantello, suffering from bereavement fatigue, has a meltdown scene you won’t soon forget.
I’m predicting Emmys for Ruffalo and Bomer and Roberts for acting, Murphy for directing and one for the movie as well.
Here are some clips and a group interview with the wonderful cast and director: