Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Having already seen the wonderful, Oscar-winning documentary The Times of Harvey Milk, I was excited to see Gus Van Sant's more succinctly-titled Milk when it was in theaters two summers ago. I remember thinking that it was possessed of an intense realism, and the film does indeed include many actual locations and persons from Milk's life. There are many great performances besides Penn's, most notably Emile Hirsch's, who was just "good" in Into the Wild the year before but superb as Cleve Jones, who is still to this day an important figure among AIDS and LGBT rights activists. As a biopic, Milk is a great achievement. And until the final, anticipated tragedy, borne of so much fear, hatred and, perhaps, junk food, it's funny as hell.