Posted by schnolis on December 31st, 2008 filed in Reviews

MILKIn real life Harvey Milk (Sean Penn) was a San Francisco politician. He was the first openly gay official in the US, elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977 when he was 45. He wasn’t a life-long politician who longed to serve the public; he became involved out of a need to help all gay people get the respect and rights they deserved.

The road to election was a difficult one for Harvey. He needed several campaigns to finally make it to the top. But once he was there, it was a great, shining moment. At least for a little while. Harvey and the mayor of San Francisco were assassinated by another Board of Supervisors member Dan White (Josh Brolin).

The success of the film is due to the time spent detailing his daily life–how he lived and worked, the difficulties of running campaigns, raising money, etc. His relationships were vibrant and caring. He cared deeply for all people, but had a soft spot for people suffering from depression and oppression. That was the strength of Milk, the movie and the man.

What I liked: Sean Penn’s performance was lively, energetic, and moving. I think without strong showings by both Sean Penn and Josh Brolin this movie would have been truly mediocre instead of above-average.

What I disliked: Too much effort, especially in the beginning, to establish who the players in the movie are. Once introduced, many of them faded into obscurity making the introductions unnecessary.

Rating: 7 of 10

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