4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Does a Body Good,
This review is from: Milk (DVD)
When "Milk" came out in limited release, I had been looking forward to it for so long that I made sure I caught one of the very first screenings. For a Wednesday morning before Thanksgiving, the theater was half full. By the end of it, there was a symphony of sniffling and nose blowing. I knew by then that it was one of my favorite films I'd seen in some time and I'm glad that it's now on DVD where I can watch (and sniffle) in my own home.
There have been several very good biopics in the past several years such as "Frida" and "La Vie en Rose." Now we have "Milk" and it shines. There has been some criticism of the story here, that it's very by-the-numbers, weak and not compelling. I must have seen a different film because I found the movie to be captivating from the casting, to period detail to Van Sant's directorial style which makes the movie feel like a 70s film, not just set in the 70s. (Blending actual 70s footage with the movie was a good choice.) Sure, some liberties have been taken but when haven't liberties been taken with biopics? Milk lived 48 years; the film is two hours long.
Sean Penn - justly awarded the Oscar for his work here- disappears into his role as the first openly gay man elected to public office, and it's the best performance I've seen him give. I thought Penn was fine in "Mystic River" but the "Is that my daughter in there?" scene was a bit over the top but in "Milk," Penn is restrained, humble and believable. The rest of the cast is just as good, notably Josh Brolin as Dan White and Emile Hirsch as Cleve Jones. This film- despite Milk's fate- is uplifting and relevant. I rarely give films a letter grade but "Milk" deserves an "A."