Monday, February 23, 2009

Movie Review: Milk

The Academy Awards were last night. The day before that Yummy and I spent the day in a theatre in Alexandria watching all of the movies nominated for Best Picture. It started at 10:30 in the morning and let out about a quarter til' midnight. For $30/person you get an all day pass to come and go as you like and a bottomless bag of popcorn.

I'd heard of the movie "Milk" but had no idea what it was about. I'd seen no trailers and read no reviews. How was this movie any better than "The Dark Knight" or "Iron Man"?

"Milk" is named for Harvey Milk, a gay activist in 1970's California. Sean Penn, best known for punching paparazzi back when he was dating Madonna, plays the title role. He spends the movie narrating his life and motivations just in case he get assassinated. Naturally, he does.

Harvey Milk ran for a position of power in San Francisco and worked to organize the gay community. He got them to boycott anti-gay businesses and support pro- or neutral businesses. He showed that they were a significant customer block. He worked to defeat laws that were put into place to protect the civil right of local gays. He got closeted gays to come out of the closet so that people would know that they already knew gay people and that they're human beings, too.

In the end, it wasn't an anti-gay rights activist that killed him. It was another local politician who was so far in the closet that he commuted to work from Narnia. It appeared to me that this politician's greatest fear was that he'd be made to look stupid.

This was a good movie, but I wouldn't get this on DVD. It's worth a rental, however.

1 comment:

GreenCanary said...

It wasn't until the very end of the movie, when they were rolling the credits and showing the "real life" characters, that I saw how well Sean Penn mimicked Harvey Milk. It was then that I understood that Penn had performed brilliantly.