Director: Gus Van Sant
Cast: Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Emile Hirsch, James Franco
In this season of gong hand-outs comes a truly wonderful performance from Penn as the Harvey Milk of the title, the first openly gay to achieve elected office – as a city supervisor – in San Fransisco in l977.
Penn has never been better in what is a remarkable film that is moving, tragic and uplifting, bringing us a performance that is sympathetic and endearingly sweet.
Van Sant, combining a recorded statement from Milk and archive footage to enhance the recreation and authenticity of the period to absolute perfection, has not directed a finer film.
The story of Milk is fairly well-known but the details may not be. He and the Mayor of San Fransisco, George Moscone, were shot dead by Scott Smith (another excellent contribution from Brolin) with the resulting trial and verdict causing angry riots by the gay and minority community that Milk so ably represented.
Star Rating: 5/5