Alfred Molina

The Normal Heart

‘The Normal Heart’ hits all the right notes

When it comes to gripping and powerful films, HBO knows what they’re doing. Though they are TV movies, they actually feel like big Hollywood productions and often times, they are. Big name stars, expert directors, and brilliant screenplays are what comprise an HBO film these days and this is fortunate for the viewer because they are in for truly quality films. The extremely sobering The Normal Heart continues this trend of excellent filmmaking and the results are just divine.

‘Love Is Strange’ is marred by plot imperfections but buoyed by first-rate performances

So intertwined are Ben (John Lithgow) and George’s (Alfred Molina) lives in Ira Sachs’ new movie Love Is Strange that everything is completely changed by the absence of one another. Uncannily reminiscent of Leo McCarey’s depression era film Make Way for Tomorrow about an elderly couple forced to live apart by bankruptcy, Love Is Strange echoes that story in many ways but adds modern relevance by making the couple gay and the cause of their separation rooted in homophobic discrimination. At the cost of plausibility it lamentably shoots itself in the foot so that it can stay located in Manhattan but through virtue of the talent on hand it is still able to create piteous moments of longing for a hard won happily ever after that’s been unceremoniously cut short.

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