The Normal Heart (2014)

Drama
Mark Ruffalo, Jonathan Groff, Frank De Julio, William DeMeritt
A gay activist attempts to raise HIV/AIDS awareness during the early 1980s.
Thanks to Emmy-worthy performances from a reputable cast, The Normal Heart is not only a powerful, heartbreaking drama, but also a vital document of events leading up to and through the early AIDS crisis.
  • HBO Films Company:
  • N/A Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 25 May 2014 Released:
  • 26 Aug 2014 DVD Release:
  • N/A Box office:

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Trailer:

Tragic Story about the Early Days of the AIDS Epidemic9/10
The Normal Heart is powerful emotional film about the early days of the AIDS crisis. While the characters are fictionalized, the events and the struggles are all too real. The film provides a valuable history lesson for those too young to remember the politics and emotions of the early days of the AIDS epidemic. The film dramatizes the criminal neglect of both the Reagan administration and Ed Koch's administration in New York City. It shows the complexity of the struggles within the gay community as they tried to come to grips with an epidemic while still trying to challenge a culture that barely acknowledged their existence. In many ways, the film dramatizes just how far we have come and still suggests that we have a long way to go. Some scenes are simply heart-breaking. The film is well-acted particularly by Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer, Alfred Molina and Julia Roberts. HBO has shown again that it is in the forefront of bringing socially conscious drama to the screen and for that they should be commended. I recommend the film to all who are willing to watch with an open heart.
People Definitely Need to Watch This Movie9/10
I'm haunted by memories of gay friends dying in 80's when getting AIDs was a death sentence and no one seemed to care. My boyfriend's brother was one of those Fire Island boys who was so convincingly played by Mark Ruffalo (Ned Weeks). I know Mark as a comedian, but he so captured the anger that must have been felt by so many gay men who's lovers were dying and they could do nothing to stop it, no matter how much money they had. As for Matt Bomer (Felix Turner), I have to say I think he deserves an academy award for his transformation from the handsome dashing man he is, to the gaunt shadow of a figure he became due to his role's AIDs illness. What a real acting force he has become, and this role shows he is so much more than just a handsome face. Also well played was Julia Roberts depiction of Dr. Emma Brookner (Dr. Linda Laubenstein in real life who's unfunded research helped so many), Jim Parsons warm loving portrayal of character Tommy Boatwright who was the heart of the movie and showed the warmth and caring of most gay men I've known, and Taylor Kitsch portrayal of Bruce Niles which showed the reality of Gay men of that era, who feared having their sexual identity out in the public eye with all the negative consequences (harassment, job discrimination, loss of family) of that.

This is a story that people definitely need to see, to understand how this disease spread unchecked for so long. If not for the efforts of men like Ned Weeks and the Gay Activist Alliance's efforts get funding for research when no public official would even acknowledge there was a problem, who know how many more people have died and would be dying today. This is an angry gritty movie, that doesn't hold back from telling it how it was. It's also a heartbreaking story of how people treat others who are outwardly different yet inwardly the same as themselves. Which is why, whether you're gay or straight, you can relate to the sad love story told here, and the heroism of those who fought the battle to find a way to stop the deaths devastating their community. It's shockingly true that our government let this epidemic get out of control and until deaths started affecting the heterosexual community, and famous people (like Rock Hudson) did nothing to stop its rampage.
"We are all walking time-bombs..."8/10
Heart-rending, gut-wrenching adaptation by Larry Kramer of his own successful play about the foundation and formation in 1982 of the Gay Men's Health Crisis in New York City in the wake of what was then-called the Gay Cancer (now HIV/AIDS). Dramatization of events, with Mark Ruffalo's screenwriter Ned Weeks substituting for Kramer, is necessarily a no-holds-barred examination of gay sex in the '80s and its consequences, with the gay community themselves their own worst enemy (by being asked to abstain in the wake of more information on the disease, they felt oppressed as a modern culture and rebelled). In spite of an agonizingly long gestation period for this material (which Barbra Streisand optioned years ago, but was unable to finance), director Ryan Murphy has crafted an immediate and powerful document, alternately angry, sexy, tough, moving and thoughtful. Though "Longtime Companion" and the cable-film "And The Band Played On" have covered the AIDS epidemic (and done it extremely well), that does not lessen the impact of this HBO film, which packs an emotional wallop. Performances from Ruffalo, Julia Roberts, Alfred Molina, Matt Bomer, Jim Parsons and the entire cast are superlative.
Must see10/10
Thought provoking and heart-breaking look back at the dark days of the early terror of HIV. It pulls no punches in showing that AIDS was largely ignored as long as it was primarily in the Gay community (should be to our shame). Makes you wonder how far we might have gone in the research and containment of this disease had we gotten behind ending it from the start. Lots of lip service from those who had the power to actually help but little action whereas in the Gay community shown in this film...the average person came up to the bat and fought with everything they had to save those they loved.

Beautifully acted and moving. Not a false note in the entire film. But aside from that it is important in content.
Depressing but essential viewing8/10
Movie that details when AIDS hit in 1981...and the government did nothing to stop it (because it was killing just gay men). It has writer Ned Weeks (Mark Ruffalo) fighting a battle to get the news out and attacking the NYC government for doing nothing to stop it. He also falls in love with Felix Turner (Matt Bomer) a newspaper reporter. It follows him and his friends up to 1984 when the epidemic becomes too big to ignore.

I came out in 1981 and this movie captures EXACTLY what it was like. The anger, fear, hysteria and homophobia surrounding AIDS made life a living hell for gay men. This movie made me cry more than once because it bought back all the memories of friends dying...and no one seemed to care. Ruffalo is GREAT in the lead role. More than once he explodes and perfectly captures the anger and frustration gay men were feeling back then. Basically mostly the entire cast was great. Bomer was good as Felix, Julia Roberts was GREAT as a doctor who is handicapped and very frank and Taylor Kitsch was good as Bruce Niles. The only bad performance was by Jim Parsons. He tries a dramatic role and was terrible. Very wooden. Also the movie is a too long and the ending overly dramatic. Still this is essential viewing....especially for gay teens who have no idea what we went through. VERY depressing but it must be seen.