A fight with Joe leaves Louis badly scarred; Roy plays a final practical joke on Ethel; Prior wrestles the Angel and then addresses a review board in Heaven; Harper heads out West; Prior, outliving ...
Cohn is diagnosed with AIDS. He pushes Joe to take the job in Washington so he can help Cohn keep his job. Prior becomes more sick and goes to the hospital, Louis can't handle being there for him so ...
God has abandoned Heaven. It's 1985: the Reagans are in the White House and Death swings the scythe of AIDS. In Manhattan, Prior Walter tells Lou, his lover of four years, he's ill; Lou bolts. As disease and loneliness ravage Prior, guilt invades Lou. Joe Pitt, an attorney who is Mormon and Republican, is pushed by right-wing fixer Roy Cohn toward a job at the Justice Department. Both Pitt and Cohn are in the closet: Pitt out of shame and religious turmoil, Cohn to preserve his power and access. Pitt's wife Harper is strung out on Valium, aching to escape a sexless marriage. An angel invites Prior to be a prophet in death. Pitt's mother and Belize, a close friend, help Prior choose.Written by
The Coke can from which Joe drinks in the 1985 time setting (outside Justice with Lou) has the label "Coca-Cola Classic", rather than "Coke" or "New Coke" (introduced on 23 April that year). The design of the can is from 2002, not 1985. See more »
I've written some pretty negative things about American TV and movies on this web site, so maybe it's time to give praise where due. I finally - many years late I'm ashamed to say - got around to watching this HBO mini series because my kids have just appeared in a school production of The Laramie Project, in which Angels in America is mentioned many times, and I felt abysmally ignorant at not having seen it. Thank you Netflix.
I've literally just finished watching the last part, and it's made a deep impression. Very moving, very imaginatively done, beautifully written and superbly acted. Looking back over several years of prior comments on this page, I am just astonished at people who can apparently force themselves to sit through six hours of something they hated! I mean, what part of the on/off switch can't they use? Six hours? Everyone occasionally finds themselves in the cinema sitting through a couple of hours of a film they aren't enjoying, but six hours on the TV at home? People, if you don't like it, or it offends, turn it off! Plenty of brain dead TV offends me. So I don't watch it. Ultimately, it's your free choice.
I'm just a boring, middle aged woman with a couple of teenage kids, probably not the target audience, but I found AinA life affirming, and thought provoking, and I loved the visual imagery and the portrayal of homosexual relationships as just as good/bad/complicated/simple/natural/valid/selfless/selfish as heterosexual relationships. I've always adored Meryl Streep, and she lived up to my expectations here, she's my role model of a talented woman growing older gracefully. Emma Thompson pulled off her role as American angel magnificently, Mary-Louise Parker was a revelation, I was appalled by Roy Cohn, so Al Pacino obviously did a great job, and all the other characters were perfectly cast (especially Jeffrey Wright and Justin Kirk.) I couldn't take my eyes off Jeffrey Wright when he was on screen. Utterly compelling in his portrayal of an upfront gay male nurse, dealing compassionately but practically with the cold reality of dying AIDS patients in his care.
This isn't a particularly easy six hours of TV to watch, but life shouldn't always be easy should it? It's good sometimes to have to struggle a bit to understand someone else's vision. There were many perfect speeches and I'm hoping for a revival of the stage play so I can catch up with those speeches in their original format. I'm still thinking about the line (paraphrased) "Life will be unbearable for a long time before it becomes impossible". Sounds very appropriate for what we are doing to the environment in the 21st century, doesn't it, as well as HIV in the 1980s? So this film is for all times, not just the 1980s.
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