AIDS; Mormonism; homosexuality; Judaism; New York City; angels
From the DVD cover:
Set in 1985. Revolves around two very different men with AIDS, one fictional, one fictionalized. Roy Cohn, personifies all the hypocrisy, delusion and callousness of the official response to the plague. Nothing shakes Roy's lack of empathy: even on his death bed, he's fighting with his gay nurse and taunting the woman he helped put to death, Ethel Rosenberg. The other patient is Prior Walter, who is visited by an angel and deserted by his self-pitying lover, Louis. Louis moves on to a relationship with Joe Pitt, a Mormon lawyer whose closeted homosexuality drives his wife to delusions and brings his mother to New York.
Five Golden Globes, eleven Emmys, twenty-two other awards, and twenty-seven other nominations
See Mormon Film: Key Films of the Fifth WaveAngels in America is probably the most-viewed film on Mormonism ever created. It is, with its theatrical predecessor, also the most-awarded. It therefore is paramount to understanding the theatrical and cinematic role given to Mormonism in the last three decades.
Playwright Tony Kushner apparently controlled the screen version of his play very tightly, investigating a number of different possibilities for release in theaters and on television; presumably the HBO option was taken for its immense audience and ability to retain a great deal of the original material in tact. Among the directors considered was Latter-day Saint Neil LaBute, who declined the project because of the ecclesiastical troubles he was encountering over the television version of his stageplay bash.
Mary-Louise Parker and Meryl Streep both won a Golden Globe and an Emmy for their Mormon characters.
Al Pacino - Ray Cohn; Meryl Streep - Hannah Pitt/Ethel Rosenberg/Rabbi; Emma Thompson - the Angel of America/Nurse Emily/homeless woman; Mary-Louise Parker - Harper Pitt; Justin Kirk - Prior Walter; Jeffrey Wright - Belize/Mr. Lies; Ben Shenkman - Louis Ironson; Patrick Wilson - Joe Pitt;