WEIRDLAND: "Milk" review and video

Saturday, November 29, 2008

"Milk" review and video

“Milk” is the chronicle of a death foretold. Before that subway station encounter, we have already seen real-life news video of the aftermath of Milk’s assassination, as well as grainy photographs of gay men being rounded up by the police. These images don’t spoil the intimacy between Harvey the buttoned-up businessman and Scott Smith (James Franco), the hippie who becomes his live-in lover and first campaign manager. Rather, the constant risk of harassment, humiliation and violence is the defining context of that intimacy.The strength of Mr. Black’s script is that it grasps both the radicalism of Milk’s political ambition and the pragmatism of his methods. “Milk” understands that modern politics thrive at the messy, sometimes glorious intersection of grubby interests and noble ideals.

The city’s gay elite, discomfited by his confrontational tactics, keeps Milk at a distance, leaving him to build a movement from the ground up with the help of a young rabble-rouser and ex-hustler named Cleve Jones (Emile Hirsch).

[...] The culture war is unfolding, and Milk is in the middle of it. (And so, 30 years later, in the wake of Proposition 8, is “Milk.”)

“Milk” is a fascinating, multi-layered history lesson. In its scale and visual variety it feels almost like a calmed-down Oliver Stone movie, stripped of hyperbole and Oedipal melodrama. But it is also a film that like Mr. Van Sant’s other recent work — and also, curiously, like David Fincher’s “Zodiac”, another San Francisco-based tale of the 1970s — respects the limits of psychological and sociological explanation.

Harvey Milk was an intriguing, inspiring figure. “Milk” is a marvel. Source:


BirdGirl said...

Milk and Zodiac both great movies. Makes me wanna go to San Francisco.

How great is it that Milk is only showing on like 32 screens and it has already made almost a million dollars? Without any advertisement. I guess the word is getting out? Yay!

Kendra said...

Fantastic news, Katie!!

every review of "Milk" I've read oozes enthusiasm towards the film and I think it's unanimous the opinion that the acting work by all the cast involved is brilliant. Hooray for Mr. Penn and Mr. Hirsch again!!

BirdGirl said...


Kendra said...

sometimes I try to enter your forum in and I can't, is just me?

goodnight, Katie!

BirdGirl said...

No it has been messed up this entire weekend. They are switching servers or something. Hopefully it will be fixed soon.

Kendra said...

good to know it!
I've managed to access the forum eventually, so if I have insomnia it's another of my fav places ;)

Xenia said...

Salute to my old time fellow and ex-Gyllenhaalic (sigh)BirdGirl, nice to see you here, and to my kind host, Kendra.:)

Happy to hear that Milk is doing well in the US, I don't wanna miss it when it will finally make to the Italian theatres.

Oh and I guess I can concede to you both MrHirsch is nice. ;)

Kendra said...

Yes, Xenia, Emile has a really nice look, but the same than Jake, I consider him in the first place a great actor.

In "Milk" Emile's had to change his usual good looks to resemble Cleve Jones (appearance, his personality and mannerisms).

BirdGirl said...

Oh I still love the Gyllenhaal. I swear. It is so good to see you dear. Brought back together through the wonderful Kendra. It must be fate.

He may have on big ol glasses and have his hair curled but he is so freaking adorable I can hardly stand it.

Kendra said...

the wonderful Kendra?

girl, you're gonna make me blush!

and to see Emile in such a characterization as the memorable Cleve Jones is priceless!