Saturday, December 3, 2005

ANGELS IN AMERICA
Emma Thompson, Meryl Streep, Al Pacino, Justin Kirk, Jeffrey Wright, Ben Shenkman, Mary Louise Parker, Patrick Wilson

HBO Original Miniseries

HBO

I am fascinated with movies that depict some sort of moral dilemma. So I was really looking forward to watching this miniseries. I'm glad to note that it didn't disappoint me at all. Set in the mid 80s during the Reagan administration, we witness people from different backgrounds battle against AIDS. A great political satire in an era where the ultra right governed. AIDS was still in the early stages. Society was still coming to grips with the implication of this crippling disease. I won't delve into the political and moral aspect and just critique the acting. Everyone was poignantly good. From Al Pacino as the ruthless gay lawyer to Mary Louise Parker as the disturbed wife of a gay Mormon. I love the name "Harper". Meryl Streep and Emma Thompson in several roles was a neat trick. But kudos must go to Justin Kirk, Ben Shenkman and Jeffrey Wright. Justin Kirk as the inflicted patient who has to deal with his lover abandoning him during his sickness. Jeffrey Wright as the nurse who has to listen to Al Pacino's rants and insults. But mostly Ben Shenkman as Louis, the Jewish law clerk and all his political rumminations. I have a high regard for guys who firmly express their political views eloquently. They were all very convincing and I was deeply moved by their performances.
This brings me to another point - if angels do exist. In the movie, we see the main characters being haunted by their moral demons so to speak. Their inner angst to deal with their pending death. Personally, I believe angels exist but I don't see them as persons with wings flapping around. For me they are more like an invisible spirit that guides us. So to watch them depicted as real personas with wings had quite a powerful effect on me.
A great series which really deserves all the awards it garnered.

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