From my first viewing of HBO’s film, “The Normal Heart” I’ve been saying that Matt Bomer, who plays Felix Turner in the adaptation of the Larry Kramer play, will win an Emmy for his performance. We’ll find out this Monday if the Emmy voters did the right thing and voted his way in the Best Supporting Actor in a Television Movie category.
Not to say his fellow nominees aren’t deserving but when an established actor shows us something we hadn’t seen before, as Bomer did in his career defining performance, he made it clear that he’s the man to beat this year. His competition in the category includes “The Normal Heart” co-stars Jim Parsons, Alfred Molina and Joe Mantello as well as Colin Hanks (“Fargo“) and Martin Freeman (“Sherlock“).
Bomer, best known before this film as con-man Neal Caffrey on the hit USA series “White Collar,” showed a level of commitment, courage and raw talent in the role of Felix, a newspaper man much less comfortable being gay than Ned Weeks (Mark Ruffalo, nominated for Lead Actor in a TV Movie) but they meet and the sparks fly.
Here are five reasons why the Emmy should land in Bomer’s talented hands when the 66th Annual Emmy Awards are handed out Monday on NBC.
1. Revelations. No, I’m not talking the Bible here but the multiple revelations that come when watching Bomer in “The Normal Heart.” The Carnegie Mellon grad plays a myriad of emotions from a reserved Felix in the newsroom, an earnest Felix when he longs to connection emotionally with Ned, the sexy Felix when the two are making love, the angry Felix when he and Ned have a fight late in the film and then, of course, the valiant Felix who dies bravely. Bravo!
2. A Fine Romance. You can’t shine in a role without a great co-star. Whether on stage or film, if the audience doesn’t buy the love between Ned and Felix, everything else falls apart and Bomer hit the jackpot with Mark Ruffalo as his on-screen love interest. Like any successful coupling, Bomer and Ruffalo naturally click in their roles and make the audience not only like them together and but want them to end up together, which makes Felix’s death all the more tragic.
3. That death scene. Nothing helps you win awards than a kick-ass scene where your beloved character dies and Bomer plays Felix’s final moments beautifully. Prior to this scene, when we see Felix on the subway essentially glimpsing his not so distant future, our hearts break a little. Then, when he actually dies in the hospital with Ned by his side, our heart breaks in a thousand pieces.
4. The Company. For a stellar production like ‘The Normal Heart,” Bomer not only holds his own against fellow Emmy nominees Ruffalo, Parsons, Mantello, Molina and Julia Roberts but he stands above them without taking away any of their individual work.
5. He’s already won! Well, he’s not won the Emmy (yet) but he did win the Critics’ Choice Award in June for his role in the film. I have a feeling he’ll need a little more room on his mantle after next week.
Still don’t believe me? Watch the film here on XFINITY or on HBO and HBO Go. The 66th Annual Emmy Awards air Monday, August 25th at 8pm on NBC.