Milk (2008) - dir. Gus Van Sant

A great dramatization of events covered in one of my favorite documentaries: The Times of Harvey Milk (1984). Van Sant has had an up-and-down career, but this is definitely an up. A testament to how good this film is: Emile Hirsch, James Franco and Sean Penn are on my list of most overrated actors, but all deliver appropriately here, especially Penn. Josh Brolin proves once again, that he’s a great actor… but he needs the right part. Sadly for him, the part of the pseudo-psychotic homophobic Dan White fits perfectly.

It’s a great story that sticks true enough to the facts that you could also call it informative. Dustin Lance Black may not be the first homosexual Oscar Winner, but I’m surprised it wasn’t more of a big deal. It’s a fantastic script - perhaps that’s Van Sant’s downfall… his two best films both had the screenplay win an Oscar, but sometimes he chooses lousy source material… and sometimes he remakes a film shot-by-shot for no reason. Regardless, Milk is a great little film that was surrounded by so much buzz and hype, that I’m surprised how quickly its been erased from our minds.

8.1