In transferring Tony Kushner's Pulitzer Prize-winning play to the small screen, director Mike Nichols has crafted a profound, ambitious masterpiece. The film follows a sprawling group of characters as they navigate their way through the cutthroat New York City of the 1980s, when AIDS began to rear its ugly head. Getting sicker by the minute, Prior Walter is abandoned by his tormented lover, Louis (Ben Shenkman); deluded lawyer Roy Cohn (Al Pacino) is visited by Ethel Rosenberg (Meryl Streep), a woman he helped to condemn; and the pill-popping Harper (Mary-Louis Parker) is on the verge of losing her sanity when she realises that her husband, Joe (Patrick Wilson), is a closet homosexual.
Like the best works of art, Nichols' production doesn't merely reflect a particular chapter in America's history. It floats deeper, into a world where everyday feelings are elevated to a spiritual realm. Already hailed as a modern classic, ANGELS IN AMERICA is one of the medium's crowning achievements.