DIRECTED BY GUS VAN SANT  WRITTEN BY DUSTIN LANCE BLACK  Distributor: Focus Features  Rated R  Released in the U.S. and Canada on November 26 (New York City, L.A., San Francisco), December 5 (expansion) and December 12, 2008 (wide release)

By Omar P.L. Moore/The Popcorn Reel
December 8, 2008

Combining drama, politics and good acting, "Milk" is a moving, operatic film about 1970's gay rights icon Harvey Milk.  Mr. Milk was a fighter for the rights of all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation, including those on the most marginalized corners of society.  Sean Penn (above, with megaphone) successfully inhabits Harvey Milk with a balanced performance, Josh Brolin gets deep under your skin as the creepy Dan White, the political rival of Mr. Milk in the San Francisco Board of Supervisors who ended the gay activist's life, killing him in 1978.  The revelation of the film is James Franco, who delivers one of his best performances as Scott Smith, the principal lover of Mr. Milk.  With Emile Hirsch as Cleve Jones, Alison Pill as Anne Kronenberg, Victor Garbus as San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Diego Luna as Jack Lira.

Original Popcorn Reel Film Review: "Milk"  (November 26, 2008)

Popcorn Reel Feature Story: The "Milk" Movement  (November 13, 2008)

Audio Popcorn:  Comments from Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, James Franco, Diego Luna (coming soon), Gus Van Sant

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