...had it not been made for television. But don't let that hinder your enjoyment of an exceptionally well made film.
Ryan Murphy has been on top of the television market for more than a few years now between Glee and American Horror Story. And he knocks one out of the park here with this made for tv adaptation of Larry Kramer's same titled play. The Normal Heart tells the story of the gay community's attempt to create awareness for an otherwise completely ignored epidemic back in the 1980s; AIDS. And while I would be willing to argue that the subject has been done to death at this point, the skill with which the film is shot and the quality of its actors' performances consistently keeps its head well above water.
First off, Mark Ruffalo is just excellent here. He keeps proving time and time again that he can do whatever is asked of him. Matt Bomer turns in one of his better performances here as well. And by the end I was actually happy to be watching Julia Roberts in what I previously would've considered a very obscure role for her. But this is probably the most meaning I've ever pulled from a Julia Roberts anything... Jim Parsons was fine. He didn't do anything new, however his awkward demeanor did really fit the role so this can likely be considered a win for him. And I'm so glad that Alfred Molina made it into this picture. His scenes with Mark Ruffalo and Matt Bomer were truly electric.
The Normal Heart is just a good film about a people who were intentionally being ignored during the most devastating public situation of their history. Certainly terrible things have been done to individual members of the gay community before AIDS came about, but never did the numbers add up so heavily. I'm really just glad I myself didn't pass over this title as it is honestly one of the best films of 2014. Give it a shot!