Tuesday, 7 April 2009

MILK (2008)

You know, I'm actually suffering from a drought in my supply of trashy movies and have actually been watching some really good, quality movies. Of these, unexpectedly, MILK is the best. I say unexpectedly because I confess that I had heard virtually none of the buzz about the film and I hold my hands up to knowing absolutely zilch about Harvey Milk. I'm sure that Gus Van Sant is a talented director although one I've sadly ignored, his career, rather unfairly, being defined for me by his 1996 version of PSYCHO which surely must rate as the most pointless remake in film history. MILK, however, is a different kettle of fish. The film is a totally believable, thoughtful, extremely moving biopic of gay activist and politician Harvey Milk. Van Sant brilliantly sets the scene for the story by using newsreel footage of police raids of gay clubs, harrassment and brutality in the 1950's and 60's after which he concentrates on Milk himself and credits the audience with enough intelligence to fill in the background. Milk himself is quite brilliantly portrayed by Sean Penn (an actor I've always admired rather than really liked) as a likeable guy whose passion for his cause ultimately causes the disintegration of his personal relationships and ultimately his own death. Make no mistake about it, this is a terrific movie.
Rating *****

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