Tuesday, March 3, 2009
MUST-SEE: (Gus Van Sant) I label this film out of habit. It is a must-see movie. But know this movie is not for everyone and not everyone will agree with that classification. Even as historical and enlightening, Milk illustrates a side of life still not accepted by all, and by others still hated upon. That said, if men lovin' on other men offends you, skip this one--skip out on a colorful part of history and skip one of the year's most well-made, most fun movies of the year. Starring Sean Penn as California politician and gay rights activist, Harvey Milk, Milk is the story of one man's fight for rights in the San Francisco Castro District (and ultimately the state). As a newcomer to the West Coast, Milk is impossible to ignore and even harder to hate. Even for Josh Brolin's City Supervisor Dan White, a strict conservative, who is smitten with Milk's extraordinary personality and political attitude. Bare-boned, this film is a documentary of the series of events leading up the assassination of Milk and the city's mayor, George Moscone. But full-on, Milk is a historical montage, an incredible mesh of actual clips and fictional re-enactments. It tells a true story in a unique, personal way--a way never before associated with politics. It helps an audience sympathize with a universal desire for happiness. It breaks down the formalities of law and makes life's lessons meaningful and ultimately, inspiring. Penn plays a powerful Harvey Milk, embodying the man from appearance to accent to body language. But props to an overall accurate casting job. Each character is remarkably comparable to the real-life campaign members, and they got lucky to land such similarities with actors like James Franco and Emile Hirsch, rising to the task in ways that make us continue to seek more out of them. An all-star cast with a fabulous story and creative film-making makes Milk impossible to pass up. To say it's heart-warming seems morbid, but the love within that 128 minutes does nothing short of play your heartstrings. Settle your offenses for two hours and relive a history from a fresh vantage point. Bravo Van Sant and film editors. This is a truly unique story forever branded in reputation.