This movie, the life of Harvey Milk, gay activist and City Supervisor of San Francisco, will blow you away. Sean Penn is perfect. He begins as Harvey turning 40 in New York, making a quick hookup to celebrate his birthday. He and Scott pretty much dare each other to move to SF, where they settle in to run a small business – and encounter police brutality and no welcome wagon from the other neighborhood businesses.
The history of his many political races, and finally his win when the city turns to district elections, is well told. Overlaying all of that is the ferment and change that American and SF were going through in the 70s, with his future killer twining in and out of the story in the later stages, in an eerily karmic way. Underlaying all of it is Harvey’s serial relationships, his needs, their needs.
An excellent movie – and no wonder Sean has been nominated for an Academy Award for his performance, and the film as Best Picture.
The gay sex is occasionally over the top – but it does make the story more clear, showing what the gay community was up against in terms of police behavior, and showing too the reaction of some in the broader community to the over the top acting out.
A realistic picture, a series of observations from Harvey, a history lesson, a beautiful city. I expect it will win Best Picture, and Sean Best Actor. Honors that will be well-deserved.