After a series of tiny teasers, HBO has finally released the full trailer for Ryan Murphy’s “The Normal Heart,” and it’s as emotional as one might expect given the content. Adapted from Larry Kramer’s groundbreaking 1985 play (Kramer wrote the screenplay as well), the film follows New York-based writer and gay activist Ned Weeks as he struggles to pull together an organization focused on raising awareness about AIDS, which at that point had yet to even find a name (before it was AIDS, it was called, seriously — GRID, or Gay Related Immune Deficiency).
Mark Ruffalo plays Weeks in the film, and he leads a cast that includes Julia Roberts (clearly aiming for that Emmy), Matt Bomer, Taylor Kitsch, Jim Parsons, Alfred Molina, Joe Mantello, Denis O’Hare, Jonathan Groff (who seems sadly judging from the trailer to not last long) and Corey Stoll.
It’s been a long while since we’ve seen an unflinching narrative take on the onset of AIDS, and HBO has a pretty stellar track record (see “Angels in America,” please), so we’re extremely excited/nervous to see how “The Normal Heart” turns out. The only thing that makes us a little concerned? Besides the fact that it might not have been good enough for Cannes, it’s directed by Ryan Murphy, who hasn’t exactly excelled when it comes to feature films. But here’s hoping “The Normal Heart” bucks that trend and gives us a new film to place in the all-too-small canon of great HIV/AIDS cinema. We’ll find out May 25th but until then, watch the trailer: