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Note-perfectly written for the screen by its playwright, Tony Kushner, the adaptation is as trenchant, poetic, fantastical, and moving as its source -- with the added thrill of an up-close cinematic approach.
Meryl Streep gave the performance of the year in any medium with her flawless disappearing act into (among others) a tenacious Mormon matron, a wily (male) rabbi, and the wry and vengeful specter of Ethel Rosenberg.
Every performance draws you in and holds you in its grip, and Nichols directs with such inventiveness that Angels in America doesn't seem like a televised play at all but its own full-blown original movie.
Under director Nichols, Angels in America receives its definitive treatment and emerges as a vivid but exhausting experience. The great revelation is the cast, which proves there's no special effect equal to heartfelt acting.