Becoming Mike NicholsBecoming Mike Nichols

Take a Crash Course on the Work of Mike Nichols

When: 2001

Who: Emma Thompson, Christopher Lloyd, Eileen Atkins and Audra McDonald

What: Based on the play by Margaret Edson. After being diagnosed with a terminal form of ovarian cancer, Professor Vivian Bearing reflects on the life she has led.

Why: It's a deeply moving look at the struggles that come with both having an illness and seeking treatment for it. Sharply written and riveting, the script was adapted by Thompson and Nichols themselves, and Thompson turns in a stunning performance that should not be missed.

Angels in America

When: 2003

Who: Al Pacino, Meryl Streep, Emma Thompson, Mary-Louise Parker, Patrick Wilson, Jeffrey Wright, Justin Kirk and James Cromwell

What: A two-part miniseries adapted from Tony Kushner’s play, it connects six individuals living through the politics of the AIDS epidemic in 1980s New York.

Why: The series allows for a number of powerful performances, in an adaptation of a play that has been heralded as one of the best of our time. Combining an intellectual and compelling story of real issues with fantastical elements, it's not an easy watch, but remains an engaging one.


When: 1986

Who: Meryl Streep, Jack Nicholson, Jeff Daniels, Stockard Channing and Catherine O’Hara

What: A not-too-subtle account of the demise of writer Nora Ephron’s marriage to journalist Carl Bernstein told through characters Rachel and Mark, who meet, fall in love and fall apart.

Why: Nichols tackles Ephron’s story in a way that highlights both the sweet and sour moments of Rachel and Mark’s romantic entanglement. Incredibly ‘80s when it comes to music (powered by Carly Simon), dress and tone, the movie’s a trip down memory lane with a dash of “oh no she didn’t” when you realize Ephron didn’t hold back while scripting, and that Nichols knew just what to do with all that heat.