MILK (Gus Van Sant) Rating: NNN
This loving biopic tracks the political career of Harvey Milk from the moment he leaves his job on Wall Street in 1972 through his election as the first out gay male to hold public office to his tragic assassination in 1978.
The actors are exceptional, especially Sean Penn as Milk, James Franco as his lover Scott and Josh Brolin as the San Francisco supervisor who killed Milk at City Hall.
Don't look for too much of Gus Van Sant's elliptical style. The strategy here is straightforward, the narrative chronological, as told by Milk into a tape recorder, until, of course, the final scenes.
Don't look for any lesbians either. Apart from Alison Pill as Milk's campaign manager, Anne Kronenberg, they're invisible.
But the story is powerful and the timing of the release uncannily apt. Opponents of California's Proposition 8, banning gay marriage, which passed in this month's election, could learn a ton from this movie.
Black on why lesbians are so invisible in the film