If you’ve been reading reviews out there, you’ll know that this biopic of Harvey Milk is adored by the critics. And it’s for good reason – it’s an excellent film that chronicles a pioneer in the gay rights movement, and it captures the look and feel of the era.
The lead is Sean Penn, who may just be the male version of Meryl Streep, the way he is able to pick up accents and affectations with such ease. His depiction of Milk is of a bold and funny man who doesn’t care what anyone thinks of him. His romantic foil is the great James Franco as Scotty – the man who loves Milk for all his foibles even when he’s not with him. I’ve heard a lot of good press about Josh Brolin as Milk’s assassin, but personally I felt the character didn’t offer much in the way of substance.
Overall the movie is a winner and I give it an A. You’ll be moved, you might cry, and you’ll definitely laugh. How did I feel when I left the theater? Angry! The parallels to the recent battle over Proposition 8 in California are stark – particularly in how differently things turned out. The movie offers what could very well have been the road map to victory in California, but instead…well, we lost. I’d talk more about it, but it kind of makes me livid.
Regardless, I encourage you to go and enjoy. This is one of your first shoe-ins as an Oscar contender!