Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A Frank Review of "Milk" (2008)

The Short Version? Gay hero worship.
What Is It? Docu-drama.
Who Is In It? Jeff Spicoli, Harry Osborn, Jonah Hex
Should I See It? Yes indeed.

Honestly, if you watch the trailer, and think you'll enjoy this movie, you're probably right. It represents a film about Harvey Milk's move from New York and closeted life to San Francisco and open campaigning for the better of the lives of his fellow homosexuals in the 1970s. It charts his struggle to gain elected office, his intimacies and trials with a pair of lovers, his clashes with notorious bigots, and his tragic end. It seems to be very authentic and fair minded, at least from the queer supporting faction, drawing from a variety of sources for an accurate, warts-and-all depiction. Sean Penn is convincing, James Franco and Emile Hirsch are adorable and supportive, while Josh Brolin continues to prove he's grown into one of the finest actors of his generation. Diego Luna is a bit taxing in a supporting role, but that's intentional. In fact, there really are no weak links in the cast, and the screenplay transcends the usual bio-pic motions. Director Gus Van Sant is typically sensitive, thoughtful, and artistic in his presentation, though literal operatic turns toward the end of the film are downright hoary. Regardless, the film is admirable, and must watching for the liberal minded.


  • Deleted Scenes A very brief look at some reasonable but unnecessary scenes. Far less gratuitous than these things usually are. 
  • Remembering Harvey...
  • Hollywood Comes To San Francisco...
  • Marching For Equality... equals three short featurettes that should have probably been edited together into one behind-the-scenes/interview piece. The real gay leaders depicted in the film sing Milk's and Milk's praises. Considering you've got the men who created the AIDS quilt and rainbow gay pride flag calling Milk the Martin Luther King of LGBT rights, I figure he rates your consideration. All are recommended.

1 comment:

wiec? said...

this was on HBO every other day a couple of month's ago and I enjoyed it as a movie a biopic waaay more than I thought i would have.


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