The Normal Heart

The Normal Heart

DVD - 2014
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A film drama that tells the dramatic, poignant and often-exasperating story of the early days of the HIV-AIDS crisis in New York City in the early '80s, taking an unflinching look at the nation's sexual politics as gay activists and their allies in the medical community fight to expose the truth about the burgeoning epidemic to a city and nation in denial.

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bookie66
Oct 14, 2017

Maybe there was a good and true story here. There also was irresponsible sex. Men so driven that sex and orgies were the be all and end all of their lives. There was nudity and violent sex.........meant to shock visually......to me that overrides the value of the story. Give Julia Roberts acting a 3.

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lindy919
Jun 30, 2017

Good story, superb acting, very emotional

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britprincess1ajax
Feb 02, 2017

An incredible story, full of pain and sorrow, THE NORMAL HEART is the tale of a four-year span (1981 to 1984) in which a writer named Ned Weeks witnesses a "gay cancer" running rampant through his circle of friends. One by one, they drop like flies, and Ned turns to anyone who will listen to fight for the cause. Teaming up with his friend Bruce (whose boyfriends keep dying), Dr. Emma Brookner, a health administrator named Tommy, and a newspaper reporter named Felix, Ned Weeks does his best to raise awareness and let the truth about AIDS get some recognition in a close-minded world where homophobia wins out, ignoring the men who are dying and refusing to fund AIDS research through grants. Heartbreaking, this story is a riveting slice of history, a story we have all heard as a mere footnote but that this generation hasn't witnessed. Now is the time to witness it. I highly recommend THE NORMAL HEART.

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mswrite
Oct 10, 2016

As the previous reviewer notes, 'The Normal Heart" could easily bookend "Longtime Companion," the poignant 1990 PBS production that chronicled the approaching cataclysm that became known as AIDS and its decimating effect on a group of gay friends.
That takes nothing away from "The Normal Heart" however, the 2014 HBO film adapted from Larry Kramer's angry 1985 play, and the powerhouse performances of its uniformly excellent cast. The standouts are Mark Ruffalo, essentially playing Kramer in the role of writer Ned Weeks, and Julia Roberts as the compassionate, no-nonsense Dr. Emma Brookner (based on Dr. Linda Laubenstein, who befriended and partnered Larry Kramer in his crusade to galvanize public awareness about AIDS and raise funding for the desperately needed research).
But "Normal Heart's" most memorable performance is delivered by "White Collar's" sexy Matt Bomer, who plays Ned's lover Felix Turner, a fictionalized New York Times reporter.
They meet when Ned bluffs his way into the newsroom and confronts Felix about the newspaper's lack of coverage about the disease. The closeted Felix laments that he is allowed to write about New York fashion, films, plays, dance and art but not about the mysterious cancer that is killing so many of these mediums' gifted creators.
Bomer brings a compelling mix of humor, warmth and understated pain to the role, undergoing an amazing physical transformation as the disease catches up to Felix, ravaging his health and eventually taking his life. (Production suspended temporarily to allow Bomer to lose 40 pounds.)
This is a searing, lacerating historical drama. It shames and enrages, reminding us of the needless cruelty and callous indifference of both the U.S. medical establishments (including the National Institute of Health) and federal and local governments who refused to act as nearly an entire generation of people died, many of them maligned and abandoned.
Except here and there around the edges in earlier scenes, there is a noticeable lack of ethnic and racial diversity in this production. This is puzzling and disappointing when one considers how HIV and AIDS has decimated as many minority lives as white. It may help to keep in mind, though, that "Normal Heart" is essentially one man's memoir of a specific time, place and the people he knew and loved.
Hard as hell at times to watch, but an absolute must-see.

s
sirtfs
Sep 13, 2016

Well done. However there was a movie made a long time ago called "Long Time Companion" which had an opening almost identical to this movie(the New York Time article - "A rare cancer is killing homosexuals" - reviewed while at Fire Island), and a similar script. This is more up to date in telling of the outbreak of the epidemic.

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ptgfts
Aug 06, 2016

Outstanding performances by Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer and
Jim Parsons plus a wonderful supporting cast recreate the panic and the horror of the early days of the AIDS epidemic and how the gay community was ignored and marginalized.

PimaLib_Damian May 18, 2016

An insightful look into the beginning of the HIV-AIDS epidemic in New York and beyond. Based off of Larry Kramer's play of the same name, The Normal Heart takes viewers through the turbulent journey to the devastating realization of a new enigmatic virus that attacks the immune system and the stigmas that came with it.

Although lacking in diversity, the cast delivers riveting performances. I suggest this title to anyone looking for a contemporary view of the crisis that occurred in the 1980's and 90's.

c
ceedeegee57
Jan 17, 2016

Excellent and still relevant adaptation of Kramer's 1985 play. Really good performances (including Julia Roberts who I think I don't like and yet keep liking).
But I couldn't help but think that it was awfully white as Solace1985 pointed out below.
Indeed it loses stars in my book for that.
Even if Kramer's circle was mostly or 100% white back then (the story is thinly veiled autobiography) there were indeed blacks and latinos who worked at GMHC, I felt at least one major roll could have been cast with a person of colour and while maybe less "true" to Kramer's actual circle it would have made the piece even more accessible - directors/writers need to wake up to 2001-2014-2016 etc

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Solace1985
Dec 24, 2015

If you're interested in another drama about how HIV/AIDS impacted white gay men, this is the movie for you. "Gay" Black and Latino men were dying horrible deaths as well, but this fact gets lost when white gay men are center stage, which is always the case in the LGBTQ community.

s
simonbrenden
Dec 02, 2015

Good performances all around and an interesting view of gay politics.

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britprincess1ajax
Feb 02, 2017

Frightening or Intense Scenes: AIDS patients suffering may be too intense for some.

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britprincess1ajax
Feb 02, 2017

Sexual Content: A few brief scenes of sexuality, showing backsides predominantly. One man is shown walking down stairs completely naked, but that is the only instance of frontal nudity.

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britprincess1ajax
Feb 02, 2017

Coarse Language: A few coarse words, mostly the occasional F-bomb.

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britprincess1ajax
Feb 02, 2017

britprincess1ajax thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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ninica
Jan 18, 2015

ninica thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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