Gus Van Sant's Milk Spotlights Gay Rights

Sean Penn stars in what was originally an Oliver Stone flick.

Van Sant and Black position Milk as both gutsy civil rights leader and creative community organizer — not to mention a precedent-shattering politician who, it's very often reiterated, presented himself as a messenger of hope. Milk is now. The ecstatic reception accorded Wall-E's visionary tikkun (and the president-elect's strategic nonsupport of same-sex marriage) notwithstanding, it's the first openly Obama-ist movie.

Sean Penn (left) as Harvey Milk and Victor Garber as Mayor George Moscone
Sean Penn (left) as Harvey Milk and Victor Garber as Mayor George Moscone

Details

Directed by Gus Van Sant. Starring Sean Penn, Emile Hirsch, Josh Brolin, Diego Luna, James Franco, Alison Pill, and Victor Garber. Rated R. 128 minutes.

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Here's hoping Milk and Penn's Milk do as well in our annual fake election. When The Times of Harvey Milk won an Oscar for best documentary, presenter Kathleen Turner described it as "a film about American values in conflict." This time, the Academy won't have to be as discreet.

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