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Running Time:
2 hours, 8 minutes

Rating: R Restricted. Under 17 Requires Accompanying Adult.

Rating Explanation:
for language, some sexual content and brief violence.

Jimmy's Buzz Guide Review:
This intelligent, adult film will be remembered mostly for Sean Penn's stirring portrait of the inspirational gay activist and politician Harvey Milk.

Additional Info:
DVD Features: Deleted scenes; Remembering Harvey; Hollywood comes to San Francisco; Marching for equality.

Sean Penn ... Harvey Milk
Emile Hirsch ... Cleve Jones
Josh Brolin ... Dan White
James Franco ... Scott Smith
Diego Luna ... Jack Lira
Alison Pill ... Anne Kronenberg
Victor Garber ... Mayor George Moscone

In 1977, Harvey Milk (Sean Penn "Mystic River") was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, becoming the first openly gay man to be voted into public office in America. His victory was not just a victory for gay rights; he forged coalitions across the political spectrum. Within a year he began tape-recording some personal reflections, driven by the awareness that he could easily become the victim of a political assassination.

Directed by Gus Van Sant ("Good Will Hunting") who filmed it on location in San Francisco, where the most of action takes place, and with an original screenplay by Dustin Lance Black,  Milk tells the story of the last eight years of Harvey Milk’s life starting when he was living in New York City and about to turn 40. He
was determined to do something meaningful with his hitherto uneventful life and so with his new lover Scott Smith (James Franco "Spider Man"), he moved to San Francisco, where he opened a small camera business, in the heart of the Castro, a working-class neighborhood. Before long his beloved Castro district became a mecca for the gay community and feeling empowered, Harvey surprises Scott and himself by becoming an outspoken agent for change and starts running for political office.

With support from Scott and from new friends like young activist Cleve Jones (Emile Hirsch "Into The Wild"),
Milk plunges headfirst into politics. Running for office and losing three times, twice for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and once for California State Assembly, he builds a strong support system in the Castro, and with the help of Anne Kronenberg (Alison Pill "Dan in Real Life") as his campaign manager, he becomes allied with new S.F. Mayor George Moscone (Victor Garber "Legally Blonde") and finally wins election to the Board of Supervisors. He tries to coordinate his efforts with those of another newly elected supervisor, Dan White (Josh Brolin "No Country for Old Men") But as White and Milk’s political agendas increasingly diverge, their personal destinies tragically converge.

Sean Penn's usual explosive anger and fury are nowhere to be seen in Milk. It has been replaced by a geniality that is as welcome as it is unexpected in this entirely disarming and Oscar-winning performance in a stirring intelligent movie.

Milk with Sean Penn: DVD Cover

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