Sunday, December 14, 2008

An Inspirational Biography of a Pioneer (rated 4 stars)

The biographical drama is a well-worn genre and while it allows for important stories to be told, the conventions often will make the films a bit boring. Luckily with Gus Van Sant’s Milk he avoids the traps and with a wonderful performance by Sean Penn, the film blends a bit of documentary with solid performances and a bit of style to create a film that is powerful and entertaining. Establishing the context and touching on early and significant moments in Harvey Milk’s life, the film focuses mainly on Milk’s activist and political career in a clever balancing of the needs of the biographical story and a character study. The film is filled with an infectious energy and enthusiasm of those who surrounded Milk as played by the great cast. Van Sant handles with the film with a light touch and the two hours breeze by as we watch the brave and bold fighter for gay rights struggle and laugh and live.

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