Milk Poster

Release Date: November 26th, 2008

DVD Release Date: March 10th, 2009

R|2 hr 8 min

Plot Summary
In 1972, Harvey Milk (Sean Penn) and his then-lover Scott Smith leave New York for San Francisco, with Milk determined to accomplish something meaningful in his life. Settling in the Castro District, he opens a camera shop and helps transform the area into a mecca for gays and lesbians. In 1977 he becomes the nation's first openly gay man elected to a notable public office when he wins a seat on the Board of Supervisors. The following year, Dan White (Josh Brolin) kills Milk in cold blood.

Cast: Sean Penn, Emile Hirsch, Josh Brolin, Diego Luna, James Franco, Alison Pill, Victor Garber, Denis O'Hare

Director: Gus Van Sant

Genres: Biography, Drama

Production Co: Jinks/Cohen Company, Groundswell Productions

Distributors: Focus Features

Keywords: Transformation, Emotional, Engaging, New York City, 1970s, Rise, Police officer, Moving, Deception

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Ratings & Reviews

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  • The film is superbly crafted, covering huge amounts of time, people and the zeitgeist without a moment of lapsed energy or inattention to detail. show more

  • For its mesmerizing first two-thirds, Van Sant keeps the film tightly focused on his subject, superbly played by Penn and intimately shot, home-movie style, by Harris Savides. But when the director pulls back to detail Harvey Milk's fight against gay backlash, Milk gets derailed. And - dare I say it? - didactic. show more

  • More than acting, though, Penn's performance is a marvelous act of empathy in a movie that, for all its surprisingly conventional style, measures up to its stirring subject. show more

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Nominated Costume Design
Nominated Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Screen Actors Guild Awards (2008)
Winner Writing (Original Screenplay)
Nominated Best Film
British Academy of Film & Television Arts (2008)
Nominated Screenplay (Original)
British Academy of Film & Television Arts (2008)
Nominated Film Editing
Nominated Music (Original Score)
Nominated Directing
Nominated Make Up and Hair
British Academy of Film & Television Arts (2008)
Nominated Best Picture