”Angels in America” is one of 10 best miniseries on DVD
CAST OF THOUSANDS Al Pacino, Meryl Streep, Emma Thompson, Justin Kirk, Ben Shenkman, Mary-Louise Parker, Patrick Wilson
BREAKOUT STAR Jeffrey Wright (pictured, right with Pacino), who plays nurse Belize and two other roles
MINI-SUMMARY During the dark, early days of the AIDS epidemic, various New Yorkers — among them, an AIDS patient (Kirk) whose boyfriend (Shenkman) has left him; a woman (Parker) unhappily married to a closeted gay husband (Wilson); and real-life Republican power broker Roy Cohn (Pacino) — wrestle with big issues, including religion, sexuality, mortality, and American political history.
HIGHLIGHTS Not having met in their daily lives, Kirk and Parker’s characters meet in a mutual dream. Dying of AIDS, a disease he refuses to admit he has, Cohn is confronted by the ghost of Ethel Rosenberg (Streep), whom he helped send to the electric chair at the height of the McCarthy era.
IMPACT An embarrassment of dramatic riches, Angels won Emmys and Golden Globes for seemingly everyone involved, including director Mike Nichols and playwright Tony Kushner. After From the Earth to the Moon and Band of Brothers, Angels cemented HBO’s reputation as the outlet that had taken up the prestige miniseries mantle from the networks.
EW GRADE A-