Saturday, March 10, 2007

ANGELS IN AMERICA - stark realities of AIDS


Once in a wonderful while one suddenly discovers a film that lives up to its exciting role in modern society. Seeing a excellently directed movie [on DVD]that is well written, and acted and with excellent veteran actors is so rewarding and definitely leaves an indelible imprint on one’s psyche.

The film version of ANGELS IN AMERICA originally a proscenium stage presentation that was a hit on Broadway is directed by a dynamic artist-director Mike Nichols, and features Al Pacino, Merryl Streep Emma Thompson, as well as Jeffrey Wright and Mary Louise Parker.

Made into a miniseries the play won the 1985 GOLDEN GLOBE awards for Best miniseries, Best Actor for Al Pacino, Best Actress Merryl Streep, Best Supporting Actor of Jeffrey Wright, and for Mary Louise Parker Best Supporting Actress.

So absorbing and candidly stark was the dialogue with a gripping plot development, one does not notice that the entire story on DVD has taken up a little over 6 hours!

Playwright Tony Kushner finely crafts his story with overtones of politics on the overly sensitive subject of AIDS and the then emerging crisis during the mid eighties affecting the lives of interconnected individuals.

The fantasy story unfolds and it shows that God has abandoned Heaven. And the Reagans are in the White House while Death swings the scythe of AIDS. In Manhattan, Prior Walter tells Lou, his lover of four years, he's ill; As expected Lou bolts, terrified. As disease and gnawing loneliness ravages Prior, a corresponding sense of guilt begins to take over Lou.

A Mormon lawyer named Joe Pitt a Republican, is pushed by right-wing fixer Roy Cohn[of the Communist-searching Senator Joe McCarthy] toward a job at the Justice Department.

Pitt and Cohn are still in the closet at that period of their homosexual existence; Pitt, out of shame and religious turmoil, and Cohn to preserve his power and access. Pitt's wife Harper is strung out on Valium, aching to escape a sexless marriage.

Then an angel invites Prior to play the part of a prophet in death. Pitt's mother and Belize, a close friend, help Prior choose.

I strongly recommend this movie to those who want to find true meaning in the lives of these individuals in the face of the AIDS crisis still affecting thousands of people in many countries.

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