Great dramas, comedies, concert specials and more illustrate the pay cable channel's sweep
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"Angels in America" (2003)
The adaptation of Tony Kushner's Pulitzer Prize-winning plays about the AIDS epidemic should have lost something in the translation from stage to screen, but Kushner and director Mike Nichols kept the mix of stark reality (Justin Kirk's Prior Walter is diagnosed with AIDS, scaring away his longtime boyfriend Louis) and metaphysical fantasy (Prior is visited by angels and later ascends to a ruined version of Heaven to find out why God has allowed this plague to happen) in a way where the two sides fit together even though film tends to be a more literal medium than the theater. As aging, closeted political fixer Roy Cohn, Al Pacino gives one of the best performances of his career, and he's matched by an incredible cast of actors (many of them playing multiple roles), including Meryl Streep, Emma Thompson, Jeffrey Wright (reprising his role from the play), Mary-Louise Parker, Patrick Wilson and Ben Shenkman.