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Angels in America

DVD cover for Angels in America
Approx. run time 352 min.
Genre Miniseries
Written by Tony Kushner
Directed by Mike Nichols
Produced by Celia D. Costas
Starring Al Pacino
Meryl Streep
Patrick Wilson
Emma Thompson
Mary-Louise Parker
Jeffrey Wright
Editing by John Bloom
Antonia Van Drimmelen
Music by Thomas Newman
Cinematography Stephen Goldblatt
Country United States
Canada
Language English
Hebrew
Aramaic
Yiddish
Original channel HBO
Original run December 7, 2003 – December 14, 2003
No. of episodes 6 chapters

Angels in America is a 2003 HBO miniseries adapted from the Pulitzer Prize winning play of the same name by Tony Kushner. Kushner adapted his original text for the screen, and Mike Nichols directed. Set in 1985, the film has at its core, the story of two couples, whose relationships dissolves amidst the backdrop of Reagan era politics, the spreading AIDS epidemic and a rapidly changing social and political climate [1]

HBO broadcast the film in various formats: two three-hour chunks that correspond to "Millennium Approaches" and "Perestroika," as well as six one-hour "chapters" that roughly correspond to an act or two of each of these plays; the first three chapters ("Bad News", "In Vitro" and "The Messenger") were initially broadcast on December 7, 2003 to international acclaim, with the final three chapters ("Stop Moving!", "Beyond Nelly" and "Heaven, I'm in Heaven") following.

Executive producer of the series, Cary Brokaw worked ten years to bring the 1991 stage production to television, and even way back in 1993, Al Pacino was committed to playing the role of Roy Cohn [2] Angels in America was the most watched made-for-cable movie in 2003, garnering much critical acclaim and multiple Golden Globe and Emmy nominations. In 2006, Seattle Times listed the series amongst "Best of the filmed AIDS portrayals", on the occasion of 25th anniversary of AIDS [3].

Contents

Plot

It's 1985: the Reagans are in the White House and Death swings the quiet scythe of AIDS across the nation. In Manhattan, Prior Walter tells Lou, his lover of four years, he's ill; Lou, unable to handle it, leaves him. 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, causing her to hallucinate constantly, and she longs to escape from her sexless marriage. An angel commands Prior to be a prophet. Pitt's mother and Belize, a close friend, help Prior choose. Joe leaves his wife and goes to live with Lou, but the relationship doesn't work out. Roy gets diagnosed with AIDS early on, and as his life comes to a close he is haunted by Ethel Rosenberg, as he was instrumental in her conviction and execution years ago. As the film continues, these lost souls come together to create bonds of love, loss, and loneliness.[4][5]

Cast

Soundtrack

The soundtrack of the series by Thomas Newman was nominated for Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media.

Critical reception

The New York Times called "Mike Nichols's television version (the Broadway masterpiece) is a work of art in itself [6], according to a Boston Globe review, "director Mike Nichols, and a magnificent cast led by Meryl Streep have pulled a spellbinding and revelatory TV movie out of the Tony- and Pulitzer Prize-winning work. " and that he "managed to make "Angels in America" thrive onscreen.." [7].

Awards and nominations

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Golden Globe Awards

  • Best Miniseries or Made for TV Movie
  • Best Actor in a Miniseries or TV Movie (Al Pacino)
  • Best Actress in a Miniseries or TV Movie (Meryl Streep)
  • Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Miniseries, or Movie (Jeffrey Wright)
  • Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Miniseries, or Movie (Mary-Louise Parker)

Emmy Awards

In 2004, Angels in America broke the record previously held by Roots for the most Emmys awarded to a program in a single year by winning 11 awards from 21 nominations. The record was broken four years later by John Adams.

Won

Nominated

Other

Broadcast Film Critics
  • Best Picture Made for Television
Directors Guild of America (DGA)
  • Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for Television (Mike Nichols)
GLAAD Media Awards
  • Best Miniseries or Film Made for TV
Grammy Awards
  • Best Score Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media (Thomas Newman)
National Board of Review
  • Best Film Made for Cable TV
Producers Guild of America (PGA)
  • Producer of the Year Award in Longform (Mike Nichols, Cary Brokaw, Celia D. Costas and Michael Haley
Satellite Awards
  • Best Actress - Miniseries or Film Made for TV (Meryl Streep)
  • Best Miniseries
  • Best Supporting Actor - (Mini)Series or Film Made for TV (Justin Kirk)
  • Best Actor - Miniseries or TV Film (Al Pacino)
  • Best Supporting Actor - (Mini)Series or Film Made for TV(Patrick Wilson)
  • Best Supporting Actor - (Mini)Series or Film Made for TV (Jeffrey Wright)
  • Best Supporting Actress - (Mini)Series or Film Made for TV (Mary-Louise Parker)
  • Best Supporting Actress - (Mini)Series or Film Made for TV (Emma Thompson)
Screen Actors Guild (SAG)
  • Best Actor - Miniseries or Film Made for TV (Al Pacino) (won)
  • Best Actress - Miniseries or Film Made for TV (Meryl Streep) (won)
  • Best Actor - Miniseries or Film Made for TV (Justin Kirk)
  • Best Actor - Miniseries or Film Made for TV (Jeffrey Wright)
  • Best Actress - Miniseries or Film Made for TV (Mary-Louise Parker)
  • Best Actress - Miniseries or Film Made for TV (Emma Thompson)

References

External links


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