Milk is the latest from Gus Van Sant and tells the story of California’s first openly gay elected official, Harvey Milk played remarkably by Sean Penn. From the outset this film, despite its serious messages, is warm and informative and everyone involved should be proud at getting Harvey’s story to the big screen. Seamlessly mixing stock footage, old photos, news reports and new film Van Sant weaves a San Francisco in 1978-79 that is so believable that it gets its hooks into you as I’m sure it did for a lot of gay men at the time. Penn is so convincing as Milk that you can forget it’s him up there and once again really go with the flow of the movie right up to its chilling climax. The supporting cast are also great, the soundtrack familiar and the cinematography really brings to life the area injecting it not only with the blossoming scene and the start of acceptance but with the underlying bigotry and violence that helped shape the course of the lives of all involved. It is testament to the films excellent pacing that allows the viewer to submerge themselves in this world so that when the final act comes I have to say, regardless of already knowing the outcome (its no secret), I cried like a baby. This true story is one that needed telling and after seeing this I find it hard to believe that anyone other than Van Sant and Penn could have done it justice. Excellently made and a must see.

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