HBO's

Patti LuPone FANatic
Broadway Legend
joined:3/4/06
It was a very moving and emotional film. The movie showed the many personal struggles as people dealt with the crisis. Although there were many fine perfomances, I was especially moved by Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer and Julia Roberts.
brdway411
Broadway Star
joined:2/24/14
HBO's
Posted: 5/25/14 at 11:29pm
It was very hard to watch for me, lost many good friends in the 80's because of HIV/AIDS.
SNAFU
Broadway Legend
joined:4/20/04
HBO's
Posted: 5/25/14 at 11:32pm
Julia Roberts was totally miscast! The direction a bit off. Julia's exit from her powerhouse monologue reminded me of Timmy from South Park. Julia's performance was a tight lipped monotone. Give me Joanna Gleason anyday!

I was moved to tears at points. I think it works better as a stage play.

Those Blocked: SueStorm. N2N Nate. Good riddence to stupid! Rad-Z, shill begone!
Updated On: 5/25/14 at 11:32 PM
SporkGoddess
Broadway Legend
joined:7/27/05
HBO's
Posted: 5/25/14 at 11:34pm
It was so hard to watch. Matt Bomer and Mark Ruffalo had amazing chemistry, I thought. Everyone was really good--even Julia Roberts, whom I will admit I was concerned about.

I thought that the movie took out some of the little subtlety that the play had.

This is also an odd thing to notice, but when Mickey is listing the possible theories and how he's so frustrated they don't know which one, the play originally had him mention retrovirus (I just looked it up). The movie didn't. I found that interesting for some reason.

Edit: Oh yeah, I didn't like Julia Roberts's delivery of the monologue, either.
Jimmy, what are you doing here in the middle of the night? It's almost 9 PM!
Updated On: 5/25/14 at 11:34 PM
Patti LuPone FANatic
Broadway Legend
joined:3/4/06
HBO's
Posted: 5/25/14 at 11:38pm
SNAFU: I disagree with you about Julia Roberts. In her portrayal, I thought she displayed the necessary toughness and concern. She was especially riveting when she told off those government bureaucrats who denied funding for her research. But...to each his own.
madbrian
Broadway Legend
joined:6/1/06
HBO's
Posted: 5/25/14 at 11:38pm
While I found all the performances compelling, I found Jim Parsons most impressive. Without the outwardly emotional scenes that others had, he was still able to convey incredible depth.
"It does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are 20 gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket, nor breaks my leg." -- Thomas Jefferson
SNAFU
Broadway Legend
joined:4/20/04
HBO's
Posted: 5/25/14 at 11:39pm
Kramer did reinsert his dig at the Reagan's with the line about the First Lady giving good BJs rather then his dig at Ronnie the ballet dancer which was cut from the Broadway Revival, but was kept at the Public.
Those Blocked: SueStorm. N2N Nate. Good riddence to stupid! Rad-Z, shill begone!
SporkGoddess
Broadway Legend
joined:7/27/05
HBO's
Posted: 5/25/14 at 11:40pm
Yes, I'm hoping that this makes the rest of the world acknowledge that Parsons is a great actor (a lot of people I know accuse him of only being able to play one character).

By the way, I haven't seen the stage version, so I wanted to ask: is there more tension between Ned and Bruce from the beginning? That's the impression that I got from reading the play.
Jimmy, what are you doing here in the middle of the night? It's almost 9 PM!
The Josh
Leading Actor
joined:10/7/10
HBO's
Posted: 5/25/14 at 11:41pm
One tiny bit that is especially bothersome to me, and I just want to make sure I'm not alone.

The bit with Bruce's Rolodex card at the end. Felt like an unnecessary, and somewhat careless additional dose of sadness. Almost like "you've been through the ringer with these characters, but now maybe there's some hope! ...oh, and he died too."
HeyMrMusic
Broadway Legend
joined:5/16/04
HBO's
Posted: 5/25/14 at 11:41pm
With so many Ryan Murphy alums, it's a shame Ellen Barkin couldn't reprise her Tony-winning performance in this movie. I thought Matt Bomer, Joe Mantello, and Jim Parsons were wonderful. The Mickey monologue showed a glimpse of Joe Mantello's top-notch turn as Ned Weeks on Broadway.
HeyMrMusic
Broadway Legend
joined:5/16/04
HBO's
Posted: 5/25/14 at 11:49pm
SporkGoddess, I felt there was more tension overall. There was an urgency and intensity that was exhausting in a great, theatrical way.
CapnHook
Broadway Legend
joined:5/12/03
HBO's
Posted: 5/25/14 at 11:54pm
Everyone else can nitpick what they liked and did not like about the long overdue film version of THE NORMAL HEART, but I have one major reaction after seeing it: I was disappointed.

After seeing the Actors Fund reading and subsequent Broadway production from 3 years ago, I left the theater feeling many things. I felt anger and frustration. I felt sad and devastated. I felt proud and motivated.

It took decades to get this movie made, and it's unfortunate to me that it was not as impactful as the stage production. Thousands of people would have seen the powerful stage production, and millions of people get to see this...subpar film. It's a shame.

I hate to be "that guy" and I hate to belittle the achievement in getting a movie version of THE NORMAL HEART, but I did expect more.

(I wonder what Barbra's version would have been like.)
"The Spectacle has, indeed, an emotional attraction of its own, but, of all the parts, it is the least artistic, and connected least with the art of poetry. For the power of Tragedy, we may be sure, is felt even apart from representation and actors. Besides, the production of spectacular effects depends more on the art of the stage machinist than on that of the poet."
--Aristotle
FindingNamo
Broadway Legend
joined:7/22/03
HBO's
Posted: 5/25/14 at 11:56pm
After seeing the revival, I feel as if I can deal with Kramer's material if there are artists I trust working with it. On Broadway it was George C. Wolfe and Joe Mantello (and I came to see Jim Parsons as a powerful force for good, too). In this TV movie it was Mantello and Stephen Spinnella and Jim Parsons. I know that they are smart people who can calibrate the more problematic aspects of the script and it needs it.

Ways I think the movie made some nice adjustments: I liked the bit where the guys on the beach told Ned Weeks to leave Fire Island because of "his book." I loved the way that whole thing was handled and Ruffalo's reaction. I am glad that they dropped the complete response Emma used to give after "Some doctors say it's safe if you use condoms." Here she replied, "I know they do." They mercifully cut out the part where she said, "It isn't."

Most importantly, I LOVE that they totally changed Ned's reaction to the first successful fundraiser for GMHC. In the play he bitches and moans that they "ONLY" raised $50 grand in early '80s dollars, no doubt infused with Kramer's reinforcing the "gay people have so much disposable income" mythology. In this movie, Ned was visibly moved, because what they managed to accomplish in a short period of time was remarkable.

I wonder who's idea it was to change THAT? I mean, it demonstrates to those who know the play (and Kramer I presume) that the way he wrote these things down originally turned out to be wrong.

Lastly, it was nice to see the movie and not be accosted by Kramer with a flyer.


yes, you
Updated On: 5/25/14 at 11:56 PM
SNAFU
Broadway Legend
joined:4/20/04
HBO's
Posted: 5/25/14 at 11:58pm
This piece works better in the theatre. There is a lot more tension. The mess and clutter onstage at the end adds to the drama, illustrating the mess the Gay community was in at that point of time.
The dying soldier who wanted his dog Skip had me in tears. While helping my lover cross over at St Vincent's, there were many guys crying for their dogs. St Vincent's allowed dog visits on the AIDS ward. Often you would see these faithful companions on the dying's hospital beds. RIP St Vincent's!
Those Blocked: SueStorm. N2N Nate. Good riddence to stupid! Rad-Z, shill begone!
FindingNamo
Broadway Legend
joined:7/22/03
HBO's
Posted: 5/26/14 at 12:07am
And where the NYC AIDS Memorial will go.

I think the Rolodex was Murphy's attempt to create a more cinematic version of the ever growing list of names that is used so effectively in stage productions.
yes, you
SNAFU
Broadway Legend
joined:4/20/04
HBO's
Posted: 5/26/14 at 12:14am
I hope they will end up putting the memorial there ( if it is ever constructed). Thought it was destined for farther West.
Those Blocked: SueStorm. N2N Nate. Good riddence to stupid! Rad-Z, shill begone!
SNAFU
Broadway Legend
joined:4/20/04
HBO's
Posted: 5/26/14 at 12:14am
I hope they will end up putting the memorial there ( if it is ever constructed). Thought it was destined for farther West.
Those Blocked: SueStorm. N2N Nate. Good riddence to stupid! Rad-Z, shill begone!
thespian geek
Broadway Legend
joined:10/1/04
HBO's
Posted: 5/26/14 at 12:17am
Having never seen the stage production or read the play, I can't say that I was disappointed, but the more I think about it the more I also feel like it didn't quite make me feel what it's meant to? It made me sad, and it broke my heart for the gay community of the early 80s... but considering this is still something happening now and today, it didn't make me angry and want to DO something to help, and it's supposed to, right..?
FindingNamo
Broadway Legend
joined:7/22/03
HBO's
Posted: 5/26/14 at 12:19am
No. That was what it was supposed to do in 1985.
yes, you
Bettyboy72
Broadway Legend
joined:3/31/06
HBO's
Posted: 5/26/14 at 12:22am
I found the film flawed, but overall very effective. I liked seeing the new pieces that were added. I don't think Ruffalo got the anger right-few actors do. Mantello did. Ruffalo was too earnest and likable. Larry was really honest in writing himself very authentically-pretty coarse, but starving for love. It's a tough character to nail and I dont feel Mark got there.

Bomer and Parsons were revelations. Parsons was better than in the revival. Bomer has best win some awards.

I too wish Barkin had been cast. She really brought the frustration and anger. She made Emma complex.

After this and August, Julia has a new emotion in her acting repertoire-dour and humorless.
"The sexual energy between the mother and son really concerns me!"-random woman behind me at Next to Normal "I want to meet him after and bang him!"-random woman who exposed her breasts at Rock of Ages, referring to James Carpinello
PalJoey
Broadway Legend
joined:3/11/04
HBO's
Posted: 5/26/14 at 12:32am
Can I have my friends back now, please?
yr pal,
joey




Blocked so far: suestorm, Master Bates
PalJoey
Broadway Legend
joined:3/11/04
HBO's
Posted: 5/26/14 at 12:35am


What Harvey Tweeted says everything I am feeling, about Larry, about the play, about the movie, about the cast (and director), and, mostly, about the ghosts who were watching with me tonight:

Harvey Fierstein

Just watched THE NORMAL HEART. My home is as filled with ghosts as my eyes are with tears. Congratulations to dear Larry Kramer. You got it done. And you got it done good!


yr pal,
joey




Blocked so far: suestorm, Master Bates
FindingNamo
Broadway Legend
joined:7/22/03
HBO's
Posted: 5/26/14 at 12:35am
Speaking of, wasn't my Alec B supposed to be Ben Weeks? All of a sudden it's Dr. Octopus!
yes, you
tahoechorusline
Swing
joined:5/9/11
HBO's
Posted: 5/26/14 at 12:39am
If the camera had stayed on Julia during the entire monologue it would have been more powerful. The cross cutting to the audience undercut the impact.
FindingNamo
Broadway Legend
joined:7/22/03
HBO's
Posted: 5/26/14 at 12:43am
It's a tour de force in a theater. Opened up, it just isn't. Similarly, Patrick Breen's onstage version of Mickey's breakdown packed a powerful wallop. Mantello did a terrific job with it, but TV's the proverbial cool medium. Onstage Jim Parson's gathering Mickey up to take him home was a breathtaking act of spiritual and corporal mercy.
yes, you
RW3
Broadway Star
joined:7/20/13
HBO's
Posted: 5/26/14 at 12:45am
This is one of the times that I'm mad that my mom cancelled our HBO subscription