johnlink ranks MILK (2008)

Watching MILK helped me realize why I liked FROST/NIXON slightly less than I thought I would. Looking back, I think that FROST/NIXON felt like a movie about the 70s made in the 21st century. It wasn’t bad, it wasn’t glaringly obvious (accentuated by the point that I’m just realizing it now), it just wasn’t quite what it could be. But MILK, on the other hand, gets it right. MILK feels like a 70s movie infused with the higher quality film techniques of today. There is nothing about MILK which feels inauthentic or forced.

MILK (2008) is a biopic about Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man elected to political office in the United States. I watched it on 3.5.09. It was my first viewing of the film.

NOTE: THIS RANKING UTILIZES THIS SITE’S ORIGINAL SYSTEMIC ARTICLE WRITING METHOD. THE METHOD BY WHICH THE RANKINGS WERE ARRIVED AT, HOWEVER, REMAINS THE SAME.

FILM

Beautifully shot and expertly put together. The film infuses documentary style footage with more traditional filmic standards flawlessly. Let me be clear: This is an important movie. In school we learn about George Washington and Susan B. Anthony and Harriet Tubman and Martin Luther King. But we never learn about Harvey Milk who is a revolutionary hero in his own right. Why didn’t I know much about him before?  I’m sure that I’m guilty of ignorance here, but I also know that there are plenty of other stories I never searched out but which found me. I’m happy to add MILK to that list. SCORE: 9

MOVIE

As entertainment, this movie has peaks and valleys. The score is modest here, but ultimately even the ‘slower’ parts are well shot, well constructed, and well developed. SCORE: 6

ACTING

When Sean Penn won the Oscar for Best Actor, I was slighty dissapointed. I really thought that Mickey Rourke deserved it. Now that I’ve actually seen MILK, I have no problem with Penn’s win. Still would like to have seen Rourke rewarded, but can’t argue with the choice the Academy made. Penn is great here. As is Emile Hirsch, Josh Brolin, and James Franco (who quietly is making the transformation from below-average actor to high quality character actor). The only one who slightly dissapointed me was Diego Luna as Milk’s second lover in the film. He was a little too one-note for me. Not sure if the actor, the writing, or the editing gets the blame on that. SCORE: 8

WRITING

A funny and witty script which also educates. Nothing struck me as preachy. I would say that it is a bit one-sided of an argument except for the fact that the voices of opposition of gay rights actually said the words in real life which were related to us by the movie. On a personal note, I feel like those who are anti-gay will look to our next generation the way that bigoted anti-black folks of the 50s look to us now (in fact those opposing gay rights already appear that way to me). I just don’t understand how someone can be on the side of oppression. But I’m getting off topic. This movie was fuckin fantastic. SCORE: 8

FINAL TALLY

FILM: 9; MOVIE: 6; ACTING: 8; WRITING: 8

9+6+8+8+0= 31

FINAL SCORE = 7.75

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~ by johnlink00 on March 6, 2009.

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