FROM MY OWN PRIVATE COLLECTION "Angels in America" (2003)

Every once in a while, it's nice for some of the best actors and actresses in the film and television industries to remind you of why they're considered to be the best.

A great example of that comes in the form of HBO's major 2003 miniseries, Angels in America. Running at about six hours, the program boasts some of the best performances I've seen from many of the principal cast members. In fact, for many of them, I've yet to see them do anything anywhere near as amazing.

Al Pacino is back in top form and better than ever as Roy Cohn, one of the most evil characters he's ever played. It'd be easy to forget how good he is after starring in mediocre, forgettable pictures like S1m0ne, The Recruit and Gigli, but he reminds you in a big way that he's still an acting force to be reckoned with.

Meryl Streep takes on multiple roles, and she's just as good in one as she is in the other. Anyone who's ever doubted that she could play anything (and I've never heard of such a person) would be hard-pressed to make their case after this.

Emma Thompson, in my opinion, could have just as easily won the Emmy for Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie for her work here. She primarily plays an angel, though she takes on more than one part as well.

The supporting cast is just as fantastic, if not more so. Jeffrey Wright's hilarious as the figment of Harper's imagination, who's brilliantly played by Mary-Louise Parker as a spacey, complicated housewife. Parker's Weeds co-star Justin Kirk provides the other half of the laughs as Prior, particularly when he gets into fantasy mode.

The actors do their part to keep the movie interesting, but they shouldn't take all the credit. Master director Mike Nichols knows how to make a 6-hour trip that encompasses everything from AIDS to angels seem like nothing at all, and the writer who penned the script, Tony Kushner, has his work cut out for him, in terms of crafting something better. My favorite film composer, Thomas Newman, contributes one of his finest scores here with an immcaulate piece of music.

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Comments 2 comments

Kamini 6 years ago

I enjoyed this miniseries back in the day (after all, how often do you get to see the likes of Al Pacino and Meryl Streep in a television program?). If I'm being honest, the miniseries as a whole was just good, not great. If anything, it was made great by brilliant performances presented by the entire cast. Handsdown in my opinion, Mary-Louise Parker was best-in-show. This is where I officially fell in love with her. I was also really impressed with Jeffery Wright, who I was also introduced to by this miniseries. Thankfully they both won Emmys for their outstanding work. Equally impressive was Justin Kirk, who unfortunately went home empty-handed for the best performance of his career. All 3 of these actors outshined the veterans: Meryl, Al, and Emma in my opinion...even though these vets also gave great performances.

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mandawg9 6 years ago Author

I'm pretty much exactly the same. The first time I saw it I was a little underwhelmed, and confused. I'd be lying if I said I still wasn't a little. But it's grown on me some.

Indeed, this is where I, too, fell in love with Mary-Louise Parker. I wonder what that says about us that a woman who seems constantly bewildered is attractive. I had seen Wright in BOYCOTT before (which he was great in), but he and Parker blew me away the most with this. And Pacino was fantastic.

I wish they had given the Supporting Actor Emmy to both Wright and Kirk. Both deserved something for what they did.

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