A thoroughly astonishing adaptation of the play. Knockout performances from the entire cast. I watched the whole thing in two uninterrupted sittings and the experience left me reeling (in the best of ways). [The final scene doesn't sit well with me, but that seems like an ungrateful complaint in light of all that precedes it.]
I've always had an issue with angels (books about angels, films about angels and so on, never met an actual angel), so not the best starting point. I struggled to forget I was watching those big names with their history at times, and the performances by the less known actors made a bigger impression on me. First few episodes were very good, then it became sort of a poor man's Dennis Potter for me.
I admire the audacity of tone and content, but regret the audacity of its runtime. There is a very good movie here, and another three hours of footage. Every great performance is weighed out by a flat one, every smart line or idea by a dumb one, every moment of subersion by one of sincerity. The film is its own night nurse, its own negation.
Its wings graze so close to something transcendent. But after establishing so brilliantly a world of collective hallucination, one that blinds people to themselves and the pain of others, its pretty content just living there (which is fine). Can you believe Hollywood is an industry that values Pacino's brand of acting the most? Nichols doesn't stray far enough from that early HBO aesthetic.
While I thought it was well done, I would have preferred less of the famous movie actors. Broadway actors work their asses off to define a character, and then Meryl Streep and Al Pacino step in and snag the roles for the movie. Where was Ron Leibman? Marcia Gay Harden? At least they had Jeffrey Wright.
Lavish production, like we've come to expect from HBO. From the amazing cast, to the wonderful cinematography, all the imagery, the script, the music, the direction and production values... It's TV at its best. The six-part structure works really well. And each time an episode started you had that epic main title sequence which was always nice!
This is so damn good, I can see why some sophisticated filmgoers still watch teevee. Fortunately, I got a copy on DVD; I stopped watching TV after they cancelled "It's About Time". Great stuff, especially if you understand the context of McCarthyism, Roy Cohn, and so on. Perhaps the best made-for-tv film I have ever seen. Everything about it is great.
Having been a play first, it is not surprising that the dialogue is extremely good. I found myself captivated by the story and characters, and I suppose a large part of that was due to the script. And with that, I have to say that all the actors are all great. Each performance is awards worthy. Visually it is a great film, with many shots that are spectacular; it is, overall, very good, and I enjoyed it thoroughly.
A truly brilliant miniseries. Tony Kushner is an absolute genius, and Mike Nichols is the perfect man to direct his magnum opus. Every single performer is Emmy-worthy, and truth be told, Angels in America is better than most films were in 2003. Meryl Streep, in particular, stands out. She plays four or five different roles, and is amazing in all of them. Also, Mary-Louise Parker, in a pre-Weeds role, is extraordinary