Cast: Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer, Taylor Kitsch, Jim Parsons, Julia Roberts
Director: Ryan Murphy
Running Time: 132 minutes
The Normal Heart tells the story of the onset of the HIV-AIDS crisis in New York City in the early 1980s. After a celebration of sun and sex on Fire Island, writer Ned Weeks (Ruffalo), notices a New York Times article about 'Gay Cancer" that's killing dozens of men in the city. Ned seeks out Dr. Emma Brookner (Roberts), a physician and polio survivor who has dedicated herself to treating the earliest victims and researching the recently announced, but vastly misunderstood, epidemic.
Believing that the disease is spread sexually, Emma advises abstinence to a largely hostile community. Ned, feeling that little is being done to combat the crisis, decides to start an organisation to circulate information and support to the victims. At Ned's side in what will become the Gay Men's Health Crisis are friends and burgeoning activists Bruce Niles (Kitsch), a closeted investment banker Mickey Marcus (Joe Mantello), a writer with the NYC Department of Healthy; and Tommy Boatwright (Jim Parsons), a hospital administrator who describes himself as a 'Southern Bitch".
As a generation is being lost to an unforgiving and indiscriminate disease, Ned fights to be heard – both by those in the gay community and those in power who have turned a blind eye to the epidemic. His loud and brash style clashes with nearly everyone in his path, including GMHC president Niles, Mayor Ed Koch, and his own brother Ben (Alfred Molina), an attorney, who has trouble seeing Ned as his equal. Amid the crisis swirling around him, Ned falls deeply in love with Felix Turner (Bomer), a New York Times Reporter who inspires Ned to continue the fight.
The Normal Heart