Angels in America

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HBO (Mini-Series 2003)

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User Score: 138

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SHOW REVIEWS
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Angels in America

Show Summary

An HBO miniseries, based on the Tony-award winning plays by Tony Kushner, about AIDS, religion, drugs, homosexuality, angels, and whether the redemption of man is possible. The story revolves around a group of people who, at first sight, have nothing to do with each other – but are all connected by their ideology, experiences, and feelings. Set during the Reagan AIDS years, the movie – like the play – culminates in a cry for the community not to give up; not to disappear. While the play was certainly more timely (it opened in 1993), this movie still resonates with the continuing AIDS crisis and governmental and personal responsibility therein.


Awards:
2004 Emmy Awards
Won - Outstanding Miniseries
Won - Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie (Al Pacino)
Won - Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie (Meryl Streep)
Won - Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie (Jeffrey Wright)
Won - Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie (Mary-Louise Parker)
Won - Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special (Tony Kushner)
Won - Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special (Mike Nichols)
Won - Outstanding Art Direction for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special
Won - Outstanding Casting for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special
Won - Outstanding Makeup for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special (Non-Prosthetic)
Won - Outstanding Single-Camera Sound Mixing for a Miniseries or a Movie ("Part II: Perestroika")
Nominated – Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie (Emma Thompson)
Nominated – Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie (Justin Kirk, Ben Shenkman, Patrick Wilson)
Nominated – Outstanding Cinematography for a Miniseries or Movie ("Part II: Perestroika")
Nominated - Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special ("Part I: Millennium Approaches")
Nominated - Outstanding Costumes for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special ("Part II: Perestroika")
Nominated - Outstanding Hairstyling for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special
Nominated - Outstanding Special Visual Effects for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special ("Part II: Perestroika")
Nominated - Outstanding Main Title Design

2004 Golden Globe Awards
Won - Best Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Won - Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television (Al Pacino)
Won - Best Performance by an Actress in a Mini-Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television (Meryl Streep)
Won - Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Mini-Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television (Jeffrey Wright)
Won - Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Mini-Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television (Mary-Louise Parker)
Nominated – Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Mini-Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television (Ben Shenkman)
Nominated – Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Mini-Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television (Patrick Wilson)

2004 Screen Actors Guild Awards
Won – Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries (Al Pacino)
Won – Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries (Meryl Streep)
Nominated – Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries (Justin Kirk)
Nominated – Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries (Jeffrey Wright)
Nominated – Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries (Mary-Louise Parker)
Nominated – Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries (Emma Thompson)

2005 Grammy Awards
Nominated – Best Score Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media (Thomas Newman)

2004 Humanitas Prize
Won – 90 Minute or Longer Category (Tony Kushner)

2004 Television Critics Association Awards
Won - Program of the Year
Won - Outstanding Movie, Miniseries or Special
Nominated – Individual Achievement in Drama (Al Pacino)

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Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 12/14/2003

Season 1 : Episode 2

Al Pacino

Al Pacino

Roy Cohn

Jeffrey Wright

Jeffrey Wright

Belize / Mr. Lies / Angel of Europe

Mary-Louise Parker

Mary-Louise Parker

Harper Pitt

Meryl Streep

Meryl Streep

Hannah Pitt / Ethel Rosenberg / Rabbi / Angel of Australia

Patrick Wilson

Patrick Wilson

Joe Pitt

Justin Kirk

Justin Kirk

Prior Walter / Leatherman in Park

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • About this mini-series?

    10
    It had wonderful acting for Al Pacino, Jeffrey Wright, Meryl Streep and Mary-Louise Parker, casting, directing for Mike Nichols, makeup, art direction and written without the sex scenes.
  • GAY ANGELS? MORMONS unlikely combination? get weirder . MerlY Streep, Al Pacino. Patrick Wilson?

    9.1
    Wow i remember watching the golden globes a few years back and i was a lil unsure of what this actually was and then it was winning all these awards . Watching weeds on SHOWTIME i was looking up Mary Louise Parker and Justin Kirk whom i love on that show and then i noticed they had both worked together ON Angels In America which i had missed because i didnt have HBO and still dont so yesterday is set out to rent it and i loved it its bizzare and yet poignant , hilarious and incedibly acted im glad its on DVD Patrick Wilson YUM !!! Merly Streep i love this woman and AL Pacino and Parker are superd cant wait to catch the secound partmoreless
  • Confusing attempt to confront some burning social topics, with great acting

    4.0
    I really, really do want to like Angels in America. Not only because if I don't it will probably mean that I'm a short-sighted fan of easy soap shows that rarely touch really important issues. I want to like it because it does touch really important issues America and the rest of the world has been trying to deal with for at least 25 years or so. And I believe that there are important messages somewhere deep inside, sadly, they're buried underneath odd images and overly-intelligent lines. Louis is the master of the latter.

    The scenes are often painfully long. Really painfully long. So long you tend to lose interest and you mind begins to wander off. Giving that the show is mostly about AIDS and death brought by the disease, it's hard to expect a laugh-fest, but the show is awfully depressing. It's 6 hours of dealing with painfully depressing subjects. The irony is, the sadness is not brought to your eyes because of the show's realness; the fantasy scenes takes the realness away. At some point you lose track what is real and what is not, and contrary to what you might suspect, it's not intriguing: it's confusing. Like I said, I really wanted to enjoy the show, to like it, to appreciate it for what it is, but after watching it, dealing with it and thinking about it, I have little of good things to say about it.

    The acting is great. Watch it for Pacino, Streep and Parker or Thompson. Especially Parker's appearance is stellar; she is the one character that seems to brighten up the show's darkness a bit. She's not entirely comedic, but she does bring smile to your face. That is not enough to save the entire show, but at the same time without it, the show would be doomed.

    The character of Louis is absolutely annoying and disturbing at the same time. Absolutely unlikeable for leaving Prior in the time of need; which at the same time makes Prior much more likable. Louis is constantly using big words, talking about things he seems to have no idea about, talking about them in a way like he has no idea what he's talking about. I was annoyed by this character the most. Jeffrey Wright stars as a fierce, black queen with morals. His acting is actually interesting, giving the fact that his characters are spread so far apart. Pacino's and Streep's performances are as usual perfect; nothing less and nothing more of what is expected of them.

    Overall, I can't say that I enjoyed the show. It was painful. It was probably important, it still is, and it is about things that need to be talked about more. I can't help but wondering, though, that maybe, just maybe, there was a way to tell the message in a less depressing way.moreless
  • Gay Fantasia Written by Tony Kushner Directed by Mike Nichols

    10
    Prior: "I'm almost done. The fountain's not flowing now; they turn it off in the winter, ice in the pipes. But in the summer it's a sight to see. I want to be around to see it. I plan to be. I hope to be. This disease will be the end of many of us, but not nearly all, and the dead will be commemorated and will struggle on with the living, and we are not going away. We won't die secret deaths anymore. The world only spins forward. We will be citizens. The time has come."



    Quite a lengthy speech but it's certainly one of many memorable ones from this play. A play that 18 years after its debut became one of the most successful and engaging mini-series that HBO have ever produced. If you haven't seen it, do yourself a favour and grab a copy.



    Angels In America is primarily as gay themed as you can get. On one hand you have Prior and Louis, a couple who've been together for the last four years but whose world are turned upside down when Prior finds out that he has AIDS. Louis's ultimate response is to abandon his lover and take with a new one.



    That leads to our second couple, Harper and Joe. From the offset their marriage is on thin ice with her erratic behaviour and his distancing from her. Learning that he's gay and deeply closeted will shock very little people but his self-loathing and hypocrisy is ultimately the ending of both his marriage and his dalliance with Louis as well.



    The other main gay character in the frame is Roy Cohen. One of the most ruthless men on the planet, he also suffers from AIDS (like Prior) and is deeply closeted about his sexual identity (like Joe from the start). His ending is the one resulting in death, haunted by the nice Ethel, who he had sent to the electric chair.



    In between these stories, is also the arrival of the Angel. She's the one that convinced Prior that he was a prophet of some kind, though it's sort of disappointing that he doesn't really get to realise that out. Though there is a moment within both plays were he got to see heaven, so things weren't all bad.



    One of the strongest things about this story is the characters. They're all as **** as you can get and for some reason, it's great to see that neither Harper/Joe nor Prior/Louis actually reconcile. Some relationships are meant to be shipped but the two prominent ones in this story aren't those of relationships. It also that every character is believable, regardless of how you might feel about them.



    Some of the other characters in this story flourish brilliantly as well. While Harper is actually the character I empathised with (apart from Louis), I also immensely enjoyed Joe's rather repressed mother, Hannah and Prior's flamboyant friend, Belize who certainly provided moral support for his pals and wonderfully pithy dialogue all the through.



    In terms of sexual content, there isn't actually a lot to speak of. Joe got at least two sex scenes with both Louis and Harper and the Angel herself had sex with both Prior and Hannah. Now that was weird to watch. Then again, this was a polemic double play with a strong message in regards to AIDS back in the 1980's, a message that still holds relevance today.



    - This was made into a mini-series in 2003, with Meryl Streep, Emma Thompson, Mary Louise-Parker, Jeffrey Wright, Al Pacino and Justin Kirk tackling the main roles.

    - Between plays and mini-series, there isn't much in the way of changes. I think some scenes were a little skimmed but that's all.

    - The plays themselves went under the titles of "Millennium Approaches" and "Perestroika".

    - Jeffrey Wright is one of the few actors to have played the character of Belize both on stage in 1993 and on screen in 2003.



    Touching on a lot of important themes, "Angels In America" certainly made great use of its six hour running. Also with a powerhouse cast, it's no wonder that this is one of the most highly regarded pieces of work.moreless
  • Great acting can't save a confusing, mostly uninteresting drama based on a play about AIDS, religion, and politics.

    6.0
    I had high expectations for this miniseries. I remember hearing about it during the 2004 Golden Globes and Emmy Awards. I had put off seeing it for a while but recently took the time to find out what the hype was, plus it sounded interesting.



    Nearly, 6 hours later, I feel so disappointed. The best thing I can say about it is that the actors do a great job throughout, but the plot and didn't engage me nearly as much as I was hoping it would. At first, I thought things were picking up towards the end of Part I, but I quickly realized it would be much more of the same.



    I'm not going to tell people it's bad, because it has a message but I was just not fond of the way this message was presented. This may be because it was based on a play and structured to be very dialogue-intensive but more likely it's just that I wasn't pulled in by the story.moreless
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More Info About This Show

Categories

Drama

Themes

Love & Romance, Coming of Age