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- Glorious Hope
I cannot recall ever having heard about Mr. Milk until this movie came out. He is to be admired and remembered for eternity. I wish I could have the nerve and ambition to be such an inspiring person. I bought the movie and shall watch it many times over....more info
It is always really nice to see how an actor can develop for good...Sean Penn is really astonishing in his role. The whole movie is really well done and even if the whole story is not for the wide public, it is a benchmark for serious consideration on the fact of sexual discrimination and its related consequences. It is simply good film making and a very well deserved academy award for its main role artist....more info
- "All men are created equal. No matter how hard you try, you can never erase those words."
Harvey Milk was an American politician, a visionary, and, in 1977, the first openly gay man to be elected to public office - as a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. He was also a staunch and effective activist for the civil rights of gays, lesbians, and consequently, for all Americans who deserve equal rights under our Constitution.
Forty-something Milk, (played by Sean Penn in an Academy Award performance), an insurance salesman, and his companion, Scott Smith, (James Franco), moved from New York City to San Francisco in 1972. The couple set up house in the Castro District, a mecca for gays and hippies, where they opened a camera shop. This was before the AIDS epidemic descended upon the community and so tragically decimated their population. Harvey and Scott observed, and were subject to, increasing bigotry, attacks and physical intimidation, as more homosexuals came out of the closet. This vicious behavior took place not only in San Francisco but all over the US. Anti-gay sentiments were fueled by the likes of gospel singer Anita Bryant, known for her strong views against homosexuality and for her prominent campaigning in 1977 to repeal a local ordinance in Dade County, FL, that prohibited discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Also, California State Senator John Briggs saw an opportunity in the Christian fundamentalists' movement to attack Milk and all homosexuals, calling his hate mongering, "just politics." Milk organized not only the homosexual community, but other groups as well - blacks, Hispanics, and Teamsters - to form coalitions against those who would oppress them.
Tenacious to the cause, Harvey Milk ran for election numerous times, experiencing disappointment after disappointment. Ever optimistic, however, even after Scott left him due to an overdose of politics, Milk claimed, rightly so, that in each election his numbers went up significantly. Finally he won, serving as Supervisor, along with Senator-to-be Diane Feinstein, and Dan White, (Josh Brolin), a conservative from a neighboring Irish-Catholic district.
After a series of personal and political conflicts, the increasingly erratic White shot and killed both Mayor George Moscone and Harvey Milk in their offices at City Hall in 1978. White was trying to rescind his resignation as supervisor and blamed the mayor and Milk for blocking his reinstatement. Harvey Milk, during his career on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, promoted larger and less expensive child care facilities, free public transportation, and the development of a board of civilians to oversee the police. He sponsored a civil rights bill that outlawed discrimination based on sexual orientation. However, Milk's most important achievement was in helping to defeat Proposition 6, initiated by John Briggs. The proposed law would have made firing gay teachers - and any public school employees who supported gay rights - mandatory. Milk campaigned his heart out and debated Briggs on several occasions. One can only wonder what Harvey Milk would have accomplished had he lived just a few years longer.
"Milk" is no ordinary biopic. It is a most powerful, stirring and intelligent film that ditches the usual docudrama format. Director Gus Van Sant, along with the extremely talented Sean Penn, and an outstanding supporting cast, have brought to life the energetic, charismatic, optimistic, loving, talented, extraordinary character who was Harvey Milk. Penn movingly reveals the vulnerable side of Milk, as well as demonstrates his self-deprecating humor. Harvey Milk's struggle to make people see what is wrong and do what is right is extremely moving, and his fiery oratory electrifying. The use of real historical footage infuses a sense of authenticity to the story.
This is a wonderful movie. I also recommend seeing the 1984 documentary "The Times Of Harvey Milk" directed and written by Rob Epstein.
The Times of Harvey Milk 1984...more info
This is an important movie. I feel like everyone should see this now. Unfortunately I didn't know much about Harvey Milk before seeing this movie but wow, what an important and beautiful person he was! And what a tragic way for his life to end. I will admit it, the ending made me cry.
For some reason it took me a bit to get into the movie but once I was into it I was INTO it. Movies are always wonderful to watch but when they are based on real people they become something else. I guess in some ways they almost become more important? I don't know.
I guess I don't really have much to say besides this movie touched me. And it was really interesting to learn some of the history of the gay rights movement....more info
- The power of will!
Harvey Milk is a powerfully realistic film as well as a very documented portrait about one of the fundamental pillars of the gay movement in the seventies in San Francisco. The amazing performance of Sean Penn as Milk, penetrating insights about his private existence, the edition work and the rhythmic vitality of the script ill engage you from start to finish. Special kudos go for Josh Brolin as Dan White in a role that might become his landmark reference for the rest of his lifetime.
- Felt like a documentary
The producers really did a great job picking actors who looked like the people they were playing. I felt like I was watching a documentary and not a film based on a true story.
Sean Penn should have won an Oscar for his heartwarming portrayal of Harvey Milk, the gay activist who made history before his untimely and violent death.
Great film and very educational - shows how history is relevant as gay rights are very much in the news right now....more info
- Great Movie!
This tastefully done movie about the 1st gay elected politician superbly played by Sean Penn is easily one of the best movies of the year. He deserved the Academy Award for the best actor of the year. Josh Brolin did a fine job too. It's an interesting picture that should be on your must see list. ...more info
- A Flawless Movie
I have noticed that the "1" and "2" starred reviews for "Milk" have been deleted and that disturbs me. Even if some ignorant pinhead writes something predictable such as "Sean Penn is a traitor" or "Hollywood is shoving the gay lifestyle down our throats" or "this goes against American values" there is such a thing as freedom of speech and even the simple minded have a right to be heard.
That being said "Milk", the latest movie by gifted director Gus Van Sant, is a success in every way. The movie tells the story of Harvey Milk, a man who ran for San Fransisco city supervisor several times, and lost, but eventually won an election in 1978. The reason why this was such a controversial election, of course was that Harvey Milk was a gay man who made no apologies for his sexual orientation. Although Milk is by no means a perfect human being he fights of challenges from the religious and conservative right who believed homosexuals were deviants and should not be allowed to be school teachers or belong in a 'civilized' society.
Harvey Milk is presented not as a man who is trying to shove anything in anyone's face, but as a man who is sick of being told there is something wrong with him and who wants the freedom to live without being told he is sick or he has some disease.
They key to the movie's greatness is, of course, Sean Penn's performance as Milk. Never once did I think I was watching Sean Penn pretend to be Harvey Milk. I was watching Harvey Milk the entire time. The key to a great performance is when you can forget this is an actor playing a character, the rest of the cast, including James Franco and Josh Brolin, also do an outstanding job.
"Milk" is not gay cinema. It's just great cinema.
- Civil Rights Makes a Small Step Forward
The Mrs. And I viewed "Milk" last night and we both liked it, but I think with different degrees of appreciation and for different reasons.
We wanted to see all of the films nominated for major Academy Awards before the awards were announced, but we missed "Doubt", "The Wrestler" and "Milk". We both thought Sean Penn was good in the role of Harvey Milk, but the Mrs. Opined "I'm not sure he deserved the Oscar... now we have to see The Wrestler. (To see the acclaimed performance of Mickey Roarke)"
I'm not so certain, although I'll reserve personal judgment until seeing The Wrestler as well. About thirty minutes before the ending of Milk I'm watching Sean Penn in a scene wearing a T-Shirt, meeting Denis O'Hare as California State Senator John Briggs. It occurred to me "I can hardly believe this is the same actor from Mystic River. Or Bad Boys. Or Dead Man Walking." You get the idea. With the same body and face Penn was a completely different person. The body language and voice even made him appear markedly different. I've seen reviews saying Penn becomes unrecognizable in this role as Harvey Milk. I was always aware that I was watching Sean Penn - but I saw no flaws in this performance.
Penn is ably supported by the almost all-male cast including Josh Brolin as fellow San Francisco Supervisor Dan White, James Franco as lover Scott Smith, Victor Garber as Mayor Moscone and Emile Hirsch as cruiser turned Gay activist Cleve Jones. Alison Pill has the only significant female role as Anne Kronenberg, a political operative who is brought in after Milk fails a couple of campaigns because she is more macho than Milk's previous inner circle. She obtains Harvey's first newspaper endorsement - a significant step.
I was a child during the time this film was set, and the thought occurred to me "why should there be a politician whose entire political agenda is based on a non-majority sexual preference?" Put another way - if a heterosexual person were running for office, would it be pertinent if their entire platform were based on their heterosexuality and their only agenda were the rights of heterosexuals? The answer, of course, is that no serious political attempts have ever been made to remove the civil rights of heterosexuals. If politicians are trying to take away your jobs, and even threatening people who support you, you have to fight back.
(A side note: I think about the recent avalanche of laws trying to prevent same-sex marriage, and I wonder how far universal civil rights have advanced. I recently voted against a measure in my home state that passed - defining marriage as only possible between one man and one woman.)
We have come, perhaps, a few steps forward. A few years ago I heard local radio talk shows paint "Brokeback Mountain" as the Gay Cowboy movie. This year I don't recall a single discussion about the Gay Politician movie.
- A Winner!
When I first started watching this movie I was a little disappointed--however, as it went on it got better and better! Harvey Milk is to the gay world what Martin Luther King is to the African American world. He stood up for gay rights. He was truly a pioneer!...more info
Overhyped. Because it deals with "gay issues" it was held up by liberal media and gay rights advocates as being a defining movie. ...more info
- About Harvey Milk
A great depiction of the emergence of the struggle for gay rights. Not only a superb performance by Sean Penn, it chronicles the life and times of a great person and a noble struggle for human/gay rights in the late '60s and well into the '70s....more info
- Noble intentions ...
I thought Sean Penn did a fine job. I think the film was, all and all, rather mediocre. It was extremely noble in its intentions but I would reccomend people see the documentary "The Life And Times Of Harvey Milk" if they really want to experience Harvey Milk and his importance to the movement. I lived in San Francisco during this period of its history and I remember well many of the events depicted in "Milk". I think its wonderful, though, if more people acknowledge gay rights through seeing this film. I think its too bad that Penn's performance had to go up against Mickey Rourke's this year. I thought that Rourke achieved a whole new level of acting in his performance (akin to Brando in the mid-fifties) but obviously after the Prop 8 disaster Hollywood wanted to support what Harvey Milk stood for. I think it was great that Sean Penn acknowledged Rourke's performance in his acceptance speech. They both are fantastic actors, so how about they make a film together next time. I think film biographies are often problematic. I would also want to acknowleged James Franco's performance - some of the other actors I felt just came off like they were "pretending" to be gay and I didn't always find them credible....more info
- Should Have Won the Best Film Oscar for 2008
Milk was, in my opinion, by far the best film of 2008; however, like Brokeback Mountain before it, it was destined to be robbed at the annual Oscar bash because of its subject matter. Homophobia remains, even in Hollywood, the last acceptable form of bigotry in America - this is an ugly truth that must be faced.
Sean Penn gives his finest performance to date, demonstrating clearly why he is one of the very best actors working today; his ability to capture the nuances of his character without ever resorting to stereotypes or overacting is brilliantly demonstrated here. Undoubtedly spurred on by Penn's dedication to the role of Harvey Milk, the supporting actors all turn in good if not excellent performances. Even Josh Brolin (certainly not my favorite actor) turns in a delightfully understated performance. (To further one's appreciate for the brilliance of this film I encourage the viewer to check out the famous documentary - The Times of Harvey Milk.)
I give this film my highest recommendation....more info
- I Cried Tears of Milk
I've seen this movie twice and haven't been moved by a movie so much since Shindler's List. I am biased, having lived only 80 miles away from where this took place and having come out a year earlier, but still I found the performances incredibly believable and the value of this as a historical documentary (given some liberties were taken) is immense. And anyone who is interested in this topic NEEDS to see what Anita Bryant and her husband are up to currently.
Diary From The Dome: Reflections on Fear and Privilege During Katrina...more info
- Milk: the REAL Best Picture of 2008
"You gotta give 'em hope!" And it does. This is one of the most uplifting films I've seen in years. It is also one of the best. Sean Penn's performance is amazing. A well-deserved Oscar. Dustin Lance Black's screenplay is also brilliant. Prior to this film, I had never heard of Harvey Milk. How sad. Why his story isn't told to you in high school history, I have no idea. This was the best film of the year, and I think in the coming years, the Academy will look back and hang their heads in shame for not voting for this amazing and important film. ...more info
- Excellent Movie, Awful Blu-Ray
This review is mainly for the Blu-Ray presentation of the film. I believe the movie to be excellent. I just saw it for the first time the other night and really enjoyed it. It will really open your eyes to the movement for gay rights, and will make you want to support them.
It's the Blu-Ray presentation I'm not happy about. It has to do with the menu software on the disc. If you pause the movie for longer than 4-5 minutes, the screen switches to an animated studio logo and the minute counter on the player resets and starts counting up from zero. It's like the software switches to a different track on the disc and completely loses where you were. You can't simply push "play" and resume the movie at this point. You have to hit "stop" and then "play," go through the menu to find the scene where you originally hit pause. There is simply no "resume" after pausing the movie for too long. The menu itself is also very annoying, with stupid sound effects for when you expand a selection. I found the same exact problems with the Blu-Ray for "Knocked Up."
Great movie, horrible Blu-Ray menu and software....more info
- A Minority Opinion Or What's the Big Deal?
MILK is a biopic about Harvey Milk, a homosexual political activist who moved back to San Francisco in 1972 and after several losing campaigns was eventually elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, becoming the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California. The film is a pasteurized biopic that begins on Harvey Milk's (Sean Penn's) birthday and his move to San Francisco with his then lover, Scott Smith (James Franco). Upon arriving in the city, the couple opens a camera shop on Castro Street., which eventually becomes the headquarters for the local gay community as well as Milk's campaign headquarters for the various political offices he would run for. MILK loosely follows Harvey's life through his political campaigns until after several failed attempts at other offices, he is eventually elected as one of San Francisco's Board of Supervisors. In the movie, upon being elected Milk forms an alliance with fellow Supervisor Dan White (Josh Brolin). White agrees to support Milk's city-wide gay rights ordinance if Milk will support his attempt to keep a psychiatric hospital from opening in the neighborhood he represents. White is true to his word and is initially supportive of Milk's initiatives, but then Milk betrays White by not supporting him and voting for the establishment of the psychiatric hospital in White's district. White is dismayed and becomes Milk's adversary and nemesis, voting against everything he supports and voting for everything that he is against. Milk doesn't seem shocked at all by White's behavior and seems to take a sadistic joy in tormenting him. It is White who ultimately kills both Milk and San Francisco Mayor George Mascone (Victor Garber). The movie basically ends showing the streets filled with people in a candle-lit march in honor of Milk and Mascone.
The best thing about MILK is the acting, particularly the supporting cast. James Franco does an excellent job portraying Scott Smith, the man who came back to San Francisco with Harvey Milk and was later abandoned by him. Josh Brolin, portraying Dan White, continues to amaze with his chameleon-like abilities to almost become the characters he portrays. Also notable is Emile Hirsch as Cleve Jones, a follower of Milk's who becomes a gay activist leader himself. There's been a huge hoopla about Sean Penn and his portrayal of Harvey Milk, cumulating in his win for Best Actor at the Oscars. I don't know what the hoopla is all about. Penn's performance is passable, but in all honesty it's not great. In fact, the whole time I was watching MILK in my mind I kept thinking all he was doing was a variation of Sam Dawson from I AM SAM; a performance Penn almost lost his career over.
The uberexuberance over Penn's performance also seems to carry over to the movie as a whole because even though MILK is a decent movie, it's not a great movie. Don't get me wrong. I didn't hate the movie, but I just don't think it's as good as it is being marketed. MILK follows the same clich¨¦-ridden pattern that countless other biopics before it set forth. Everything from the movie's score, to the arc of the story structure, to the overextended final images Milk sees at his death, to the triumphant candle-lit march at the end of the movie are ripped from the playbook of the biopic. The film displays very little originality and offers nothing new to the medium. Not only that but it glosses over or ignores the more interesting parts of Milk's character and portrays him in a far more positive light than he really was. Towards the end of the movie, Harvey Milk is talking to Mayor Mascone and the Mayor says, "You know who you sounded like just then? Boss Tweed." The statement is meant as a compliment but shouldn't be. Boss Tweed was an evil and ruthless man and is someone we should be trying to avoid being like and not emulate. The same could be said of Harvey Milk and the movie about that version of Harvey Milk would be far more interesting....more info
- A very good film but was it the best?
First off, I have to say that Sean Penn did a fantastic job as the late Harvey Milk, the gay rights leader who was killed by the disgruntled former supervisor Dan White. That said, I thought it was a very, very good film, especially the scenes leading up the protests and riots. The director shows the turbulent times and emotions that threaten to destroy the city yet is able to show us Milk's tender side and how his ambitions overshadowed his loves.
I may be in the minority when I say this but I don't think this film deserved a best pic nomination. It was very interesting and well-made but I thought other films in 2008 deserved equal or more recognition. I also strongly believe that while Penn did a great job, his win probably wouldn't have happened if it weren't for the proposition 8 fiasco months before. Were people in Hollywood feeling guilty for the Brokeback disaster three years before or did they honestly think Penn did a better job than Rourke? Who knows. Still, not to take away from Penn's achievement, people should watch both performances and decide for themselves. ...more info
- Sean Penn is amazing!
Sean Penn wears the character of Harvey Milk like a second skin. He is a truly amazing actor and the story is riveting metamorphosis of a politician....more info
- One of this year's best performances
Howard Milk is certainly a very admirable character, but I didn't find him to be very likeable. He seemed selfish and somewhat grandstanding. But then, maybe that's the point of the film, to show him as he truly was - an individual who was a hero to the community, while being a normal, fallible human being at the same time. And on that level, this is an amazing success. Sean Penn completely disappears into and shines in the lead role, and James Franco should also be noted for his strong supporting role. In fact, the only disappointment isn't with the movie itself - it's with the realization that 30 years later, gays are still fighting to assert and keep their civil rights....more info
- One of the best movies I've ever seen.
This is an amazing movie, it has an excellent director, an excellent screen writer and of course, excellent actors. I'm sure that you all agree with me that this is, by far, the best performance of Sean Penn....more info
- Amazing performance, an enigmatic character
When the Oscars were announced, I have to say that Sean Penn deserved it. Mickey Rourke was certainly solid, but Penn has proven again that there isn't much he can't do; the new Dustin Hoffman? Researching his roles? Penn is excellent in this role, aided by one of the best supporting casts ever assembled. Credit to director Gus Van Sant, but mostly to the flawless script of Lance Black. The story of Harvey Milk had been attempted by many, but with Black's script, it finally found fruition, so to speak. Bravo to all involved. AFTERTHOUGHT: The Indie Spirit Awards honored Mr. Black and James Franco, but no nomination for the Film, nor for Mr. Penn & Mr. Van Sant. Bad feelings? How objective is that? Doesn't seem fair to me....more info
- Listless, conventional biopic
My main reaction to this film was, "Why bother?" I mean, the story has already been told in the vastly superior documentary "The Times of Harvey Milk" and even in a good made-for-tv movie with Peter Coyote and Tim Daly. So why do it again when you have absolutely nothing to add except cliches that were thrice-familiar seventy years ago?(For a far superior biopic, try "Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet"-1940,I believe) I suppose the main problem with this dreary effort is its lack of focus. In the space of about two hours the movie tries a little bit of everything-a little social background, a little of the political infighting in San Francisco, a little of Harvey Milk's love life, a little of Dan White's anger, etc. The made-for-tv movie was far more detailed and nuanced. I have to say, though, that this movie has the feel of a made-for-tv movie, complete with titles telling us, like a Dickens novel, what happened to all the characters later on. In fact I found myself disappointed by the lack of commercials, which any decent made-for-tv movie ought by rights to have. The most interesting thing about the movie is its desperate attempt to create emotional impact from a story whose time has, frankly, come and gone. Let's face it, the main political issue these days seems to be the technical distinction between a civil union and a marriage, hardly the stuff of life and death, as it once was. And so the movie gives us scene after scene of the Great Uplift. By the time the movie was over I half expected to see kids playing basketball in a schoolyard shouting, "I'm Harvey Milk." "No, I'm Harvey Milk" in the manner of another dreary biopic. The movie even resorts (so help me) to a gay boy in a wheelchair who is about to be taken to an asylum to be fixed in some unidentified way! All that was missing was his rescue from a fire by Lassie. So, as I said at the beginning, why bother? To provide Sean Penn with another accent to imitate?
- Well directed, well acted, a story that everyone should know about
Sean Penn is phenomenal in this. He really shows his acting diversity. Historically important true story....more info
The movie is very well acted. Sean Penn performance is very real and convincible. Sometimes is a little slow but the main subject is very well developed.Milk [Blu-ray]...more info
- This film is a must see!
Let me start by saying I cannot stand Sean Penn, however in this film he did not play Harvey milk, he was Harvey milk!
Having seen the Academy award-winning documentary the Times of Harvey milk, it was scary at times watching Sean Penn play him and you could see Harvey milk coming through.
If you grew up in the 70s like I did this film is also interesting simply because of the fine job they did of making everyone look authentically 70s, but it makes you feel old, seems like only yesterday I was wearing those close and had that ugly hair style.
In my final analysis I believe this film should be shown along with the documentary the times Harvey milk to high school students!
This is the history that we missed out on in high school that we should have been taught because this is not just "gay"history, this is American history!
But I'm sure some right wing religious nutcase zealot will have something to say about that!
- *UPLIFTING* MOVIE!
I wasn't going to buy the MILK DVD because I already saw it in the theater. And even though I enjoyed the movie and thought it was really good, I didn't think I would be watching it on repeated showings, not to mention space and money issues.
But I'm glad I did buy it. The movie is even better on the second viewing and was beautifully told, and I'm sure I'll be watching it many more times.
MILK is a bio-pic about San Francisco, City Controller - Harvey Milk. In the 70s, he was the second openly gay person to be elected to public office throughout the country and the first openly gay man elected anywhere. He fought vigorously for gay rights until he was murdered by fellow city controller Dan White (who also killed the mayor of SF George Moscone at the same time).
The film does a pretty good job of showing the personal and private life of this remarkable person, and shows how Harvey Milk may have thought himself to be an "ordinary man," but he did extraordinary things, which still reverberate to this day. Even the portrayal of Dan White was sensitive as the film shows a troubled man and not the homophobic assassin of legend. And despite ending tragically for three people and those around them--Milk, Moscone, and White who committed suicide two years after he was released from prison--the movie does inspire hope.
This is a movie that should be passed down from generation-to-generation because it shows how we are responsible for the young people who are going to take our place. Without Harvey Milk and others like him, today's LGBT people wouldn't have half as many rights as we do nor the feeling that we can accomplish great things.
The bonuses are short but sweet and include:
***DELETED SCENES 3:45/Three scenes that don't make it in the film:
--jack throws pottery
--harvey the clown
***REMEMBERING HARVEY 13:20
--the actual people represented in the film talk about harvey milk; among them anne kronenberg and cleve jones
***HOLLYWOOD COMES TO SF 14:32
--producers and actors discuss "milk" and the person; writer dustin lance black, james franco and josh brolin among others, but sean penn doesn't appear
***MARCHING FOR EQUALITY 7:57
--cleve jones, gilbert baker and daniel nicoletta among others talk about the re-enactment of the "march through the castro" from the film and how it compares to the reality of that time, with footage of the behind the scenes as filming takes place
Anyway, I recommend MILK DVD even if you've already seen it because like I said the story itself is timeless and the execution was brilliant. And to find out more about the real Harvey Milk check out The Times of Harvey Milk 1984 or The Mayor of Castro Street: The Life and Times of Harvey Milk....more info
- Milk was a dreadful roll model & politician
Sean Penn has always been an 'A' list actor making almost anything he is in gripping and fascinating. He is the only reason the film gets one star. First, do some true research on Harvey Milk. The guy was obsessed with parading his sexuality and promoting gay agendas. Is this a good reason to elect someone? Certainly not!
Milk was friends with and gave endorsements to psycho cult leader Jim Jones who murdered over 900 people at Jonestown. A close friend of Milk's, Gerard Dols, nowadays laments the pathetic behavior of Milk and his obsession with gay agendas. Google his testimony. Milk accomplished next to nothing for mainstream voters in California. Instead he spent his career selfishly pushing his sexual agenda.
He was not murdered for being gay, but got in the way of a mentally ill ex-employee, yet the homosexual community looks for every opportunity for self-promoting themselves, so of course we get drivel like this. Sean should divorce his liberal views from his acting decisions. You don't glorify someone for their sex practices and how proud they are of them. Truly honorable men have intelligence, and are positive roll models. Harvey Milk and this film spin evil into good. As if these reasons were not bad enough, the flick is fairly boring too. Make sure you do not rent it by mistake....more info
- Does a Body Good
When "Milk" came out in limited release, I had been looking forward to it for so long that I made sure I caught one of the very first screenings. For a Wednesday morning before Thanksgiving, the theater was half full. By the end of it, there was a symphony of sniffling and nose blowing. I knew by then that it was one of my favorite films I'd seen in some time and I'm glad that it's now on DVD where I can watch (and sniffle) in my own home.
There have been several very good biopics in the past several years such as "Frida" and "La Vie en Rose." Now we have "Milk" and it shines. There has been some criticism of the story here, that it's very by-the-numbers, weak and not compelling. I must have seen a different film because I found the movie to be captivating from the casting, to period detail to Van Sant's directorial style which makes the movie feel like a 70s film, not just set in the 70s. (Blending actual 70s footage with the movie was a good choice.) Sure, some liberties have been taken but when haven't liberties been taken with biopics? Milk lived 48 years; the film is two hours long.
Sean Penn - justly awarded the Oscar for his work here- disappears into his role as the first openly gay man elected to public office, and it's the best performance I've seen him give. I thought Penn was fine in "Mystic River" but the "Is that my daughter in there?" scene was a bit over the top but in "Milk," Penn is restrained, humble and believable. The rest of the cast is just as good, notably Josh Brolin as Dan White and Emile Hirsch as Cleve Jones. This film- despite Milk's fate- is uplifting and relevant. I rarely give films a letter grade but "Milk" deserves an "A."...more info