Opened: November 26, 2008
Directed by: Gus Van Sant
Starring: Sean Penn, Emile Hirsch, Josh Brolin, Diego Luna, James Franco, Alison Pill, Victor Garber, Denis O’Hare, Joseph Cross, Stephen Spinella, Lucas Grabeel & Jeff Koons
While the film’s tragic end is mentioned at the start, Milk will have you rooting for its title character as he fights for LGBTQIA+ rights.
Harvey Milk (Sean Penn) recounts his life beginning with meeting his lover Scott Smith (James Franco) on the eve of his 40th birthday and their life together as Harvey gets into politics. He eventually becomes the first openly gay elected official in California but is murdered not long after by fellow official Dan White (Josh Brolin).
Milk started a movement in his community and got people to believe in him. With this story taking place over 40 years ago, it’s incredible to see the bigotry of people still being elected today.
Penn exudes Milk’s passion both for politics and for love in general.
Final say: Love is love and separate from the law. ★★★★★