Mark Ruffalo

HBO's 'Normal Heart' is an extraordinary TV movie

HBO's 'Normal Heart' is an extraordinary TV movie

HBO’s "The Normal Heart" will do something to you that TV rarely does: rock you to your emotional roots.

The power of this HBO movie starring Mark Ruffalo, Julia Roberts and Jim Parsons is such that you can forget about turning off the TV after the final credits roll and going to bed as you might with most made-for-TV movies. This one, adapted by Larry Kramer from his Tony Award-winning 1985 play, will keep you up for hours in an emotional churn thinking about life, love, loss, death and politics.

Oh, yeah. It’s political.

I’m not sure you can make an honest movie about AIDS and not get political. And “The Normal Heart,” which opens in 1981 with the onset of...