Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Normal Heart

2014 American Television Movie

Cast: Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer, Taylor Kitsch, Jim Parsons, Julia Roberts, Alfred Molina, Joe Mantello, B.D. Wong, Jonathan Groff, Stephen Spinella and Denis O'Hare
Director: Ryan Murphy
Writer: Larry Kramer, based on his play

Against the dark backdrop of the AIDS epidemic in the early 1980s, an outspoken gay activist tries to raise public awareness but encounters myriad obstacles from all sides.


  • Internet Movie Database: 8.0/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes - Critics: 94% / Audience: 87%
  • Metacritic - Critics: 85% / Audience: 7.7%
  • OMG rating: 8/10
  • Movie Dearest rating: B+

  • DVD/Blu-ray: Available
  • Book: Available


  • American Cinema Editors Eddy Award for Best Edited Miniseries or Motion Picture for Television.
  • Directors Guild of America Award nomination for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for Television and Mini-Series.
  • Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Dorian Award for TV Drama of the Year; also nominated for TV Director of the Year and TV Performance of the Year - Actor (Bomer, Ruffalo).
  • GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding TV Movie or Mini-Series.
  • Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television (Bomer); also nominated for Best Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television and Best Actor in a Mini-Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television (Ruffalo).
  • Movie Dearest Award for TV Show of the Year.
  • Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Television Movie and Makeup (Non-Prosthetic); also nominated for Directing, Lead Actor (Ruffalo), Supporting Actor (Bomer, Mantello, Molina and Parsons), Supporting Actress (Roberts), Writing, Cinematography, Single-Camera Picture Editing and Casting.
  • Producers Guild of America Stanley Kramer Award; also nominated for Outstanding Producer of Long-Form Television.
  • Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries (Ruffalo); also nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries (Roberts).
  • Writers Guild of America Award nomination for Adapted Long Form Television.

  • Larry Kramer's autobiographical/roman à clef drama The Normal Heart opened Off-Broadway in 1985, soon after the events that inspired it. Brad Davis, who was diagnosed with AIDS that same year, played Ned Weeks, the character based on Kramer himself. In addition to Kramer, other characters were based on fellow activists Rodger McFarlane and Paul Popham and HIV/AIDS researcher Dr. Linda Laubenstein. Joel Grey replaced Davis later in the play's original run.
  • It was subsequently revived in London (starring Martin Sheen, followed by Tom Hulce and John Shea, as Ned Weeks) and Los Angeles (starring Richard Dreyfuss) and again Off-Broadway in 2004 (starring Raúl Esparza and Joanna Gleason).
  • The title of the play comes from W.H. Auden's poem "September 1, 1939".
  • Barbra Streisand held the film rights to the play for a decade, but was unable to get financing for a feature film.
  • Larry Kramer's sequel, The Destiny of Me, premiered Off-Broadway in 1992 and won the Obie Award for Outstanding Play. Kramer is currently working on the screenplay adaptation for HBO that will also be directed by Ryan Murphy. Mark Ruffalo, Julia Roberts and Jim Parsons are expected to reprise their roles.
  • The Normal Heart made its Broadway debut in 2011. Directed by Joel Grey and George C. Wolfe, the production won Tony Awards for Best Revival of a Play and featured acting awards for John Benjamin Hickey and Ellen Barkin. Joe Mantello, who plays Mickey Marcus in the film, was nominated for his performance as Ned Weeks. Jim Parsons played Tommy Boatwright and reprised his role in the film. The revival also starred Luke MacFarlane and Lee Pace.
  • Originally aired on the American premium cable channel HBO.
  • Casting Call: Alec Baldwin.

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