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 Sean Penn

   
 

Got Milk? 

   

 

  

 

Using documentary footage, split screens and clever narrative techniques, director Gus Van Sant has crafted an inventive and powerful film.  Milk goes beyond the particulars of the gay movement - it is a thrilling bio-pic about the life of a freedom-fighter, and a drama about city politics and a community's fight for civil rights. 

A passionate belief in a cause and a love for life propelled Harvey Milk to the forefront of the gay rights movement.  After meeting his partner Scott Smith in a New York subway at the age of thirty-nine, Milk abandoned his closeted corporate existence.  He moved to San Francisco where he opened a camera store and lived openly with his partner, a radical move in the early nineteen-seventies.  It is in Haight-Ashbury, the hardscrabble San Francisco neighborhood, that Milk eventually became the self-proclaimed 'Mayor of Castro Street.'  He became actively involved in issues affecting the gay community and began organizing.  Eventually elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977 he became the first openly gay man to hold public office in the U.S. 

As Harvey Milk, Sean Penn delivers one of the most spectacular tour-de-force performances of recent times.  The bad-boy actor has matured into a nuanced performer; here he brilliantly mimics every subtle gesture - angle of head or movement of wrist - capturing the distinctive characteristics of the real-life Harvey Milk.  He delivers a complex portrait of a wonderfully vibrant man who through dint of effort and willpower became a successful activist, politician and leader.

Towards the end of the movie, Milk attends a performance of Tosca and watches entranced.  The giving in to operatic melodrama is perhaps a poignant symbol for a man who learned relatively late in life the importance of finding true passion in life and giving oneself over to it.  

 

CAST: Harvey Milk- Sean Penn; Dan White-Josh Brolin; Scott Smith -James Franco; Cleve Jones-Emile Hirsch; Jack Lira-Diego Luna Anne Kronenberg-Alison Pill; Mayor Moscone-Victor Garber; John Briggs-Denis O'Hare; Dick Pabich-Joseph Cross; Rick Stokes-Stephen Spinella; Dany Nicoletta-Lucas Grabeel CREW: Directed By: Gus Van Sant; Screenplay: Dustin Lance Black; Director of Photography: Harris Savides; Editor: Elliot Graham; Costume Designer: Danny Glicker; Original Score: Danny Elfman

 

See: Milk

 

 

 

 

 

       
 

 
       
     

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