Movie Review: Milk

Published by Clay Cane on Wednesday, November 26, 2008 at 12:46 am.

milkSummary: A biopic about Harvey Milk, legendary gay rights activist who was the first openly gay person to be elected to public office in California. The movie follows his life from triumphant to tragedy.

Review: “Milk” comes at a poignant time in American history. The fight for gay marriage is at its peak and in many ways it seems we have not progressed since the late seventies, when Harvey Milk made his impact. Regardless of your own personal convictions, “Milk” proves that every law-abiding, tax paying American citizen deserves equal rights. Harvey Milk believed in it, fought for it and died for it.

Not enough can be said about the performance of Sean Penn. Rarely can an actor reinvent himself so deeply that you forget he is even on screen. Penn was once a bad boy of Hollywood and to see him become Harvey Milk with the fever and tenacity that he embodied is earth-shattering. Penn is a shoe-in for an Oscar nomination and might possibly win for the second time. There is not a moment when Penn is not in the zone, transcending sexual orientation and focusing on his craft.

“Milk” is brilliantly told, part political and part love story. The director, Gus Van Sant, knew not to turn the activist into just an activist. He wanted to be loved and respected in his professional career and personal life. The film manages to rise above politics in the quest to be loved.

“Milk” is a film that everyone should see. Not only for the superb storytelling, immaculate acting skills from Sean Penn and the education that anyone can receive, but for it being a solid film with clear intentions—to thoughtfully entertain. If you walk out of “Milk” and not be moved then you are missing a little soul.

“Milk” is in select theatres today.

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