Friday, 6 February 2009

#14 Review For 'Milk' (2009)

Gus Van Sant
Sean Penn
Josh Brolin
James Franco
Dustin Lance Black
Running Time

First of all I’m not going to talk about the film but about 2009. I have very high hopes for the rest of the year if in the first two months there has already a ton of great movies. 'Slumdog Millionaire', 'The Wrestler', 'Frost/Nixon' and 'Curious Case Of Benjamin Button' just to name a few. And now Gus Van Sant’s never masterpiece ‘Milk’. I think that 2009 with be remembered as one of the great years for movies.

Now on to the film review. ‘Milk’ is directed by long time director Gus Van Sant. His other controversial films being ‘Elephant’ which was about the events surrounding the Columbine shootings and ‘Last Days’ which followed the life or musician Kurt Curbain in his final hours. Van Sant definitely strikes again with this in your face film about homosexuality and its struggle for expectance. It centres round Hervey Milk who was the first openly gay elected office. With Van Sant being gay himself it felt like he could finally express his inner self with the script. What I mean by this remark is that in all this films I have seen, there has always been a gay kissing scene, and with this film being about gay liberation it feels like sort natural over just being thrown in there.

One of the main things to why ‘Milk’ will suck in audiences is because of the acting talent. Firstly Josh Brolin was the… antagonist. Well I guess so because he was the opposite to Harvey Milk (one being Catholic the other gay). For the first time I have really have truly enjoyed James Franco on the screen (I haven’t seen ‘Pineapple Express’ yet). He didn’t steal the lime light from Penn or any other character and added to the hole ensemble along with the other cast members. Now on the Emile Hirsch who people will most likely now from ‘Speed Racer’ (2008) and ‘Lord Of Dogtown’ (2005), is definitely one the characters that stands out. With his reassembly small role I left the cinema remembering his impact on the movie. I think this could be a not so much a big break but Emile will definitely start to be noticed by not only me but hopefully other directors/producers. Now last but not least Sean Penn, before I saw the film a gay friend of mine asked if Sean Penn was homosexual himself, to which I simply replied no. Penn does such a good performance that I am sure that he deserves the Oscar over Rourcke and Pitt. But in fairness I would love to see Rourke win it and I haven’t seen ‘Curious Case-‘ yet so its hard to say.

Really the reason why people should go see this film is mainly for the acting of the script. Not that it’s a bad or boring one but the film has other things going for it. Mainly the acting but also the way Van Sant directed it with subtle little film experiments that he did with his other films. For instance though out the film there is a lot of reflected surfaces used. But now I am really torn with the Academy Awards like I said Penn for Best Male Performance but im wondering who deserves Best Director Boyle, Fincher or Van Sant. It definitely a good year for the Oscars and it is very unlikely that I will be disappointed.

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Oliver Hunt

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