I saw this film back in November just a few weeks after the election, so I was still in the politics mind set.
The film tells the story of Harvey Milk (Sean Penn), California’s first openly gay elected official, who after a life of struggling against oppression, is assassinated by a fellow politician, supervisor Dan White (Josh Brolin).
I loved this film and it really struck a chord with me, and I’m sure many fellow Californians as well, as one of Milk’s campaigns against a Prop so closely resembles that of the recent Prop 8. While Sean Penn is great, I think the supporting cast is ever better. James Franco, Josh Brolin, and Emile Hirsch are all fantastic as supporting cast. The only critique I’ve heard about this film is that the documentary is better. I’ve never seen it, so I really enjoyed it, but maybe if I had I’d feel differently. Either way, as much as I loved this film, I don’t predict it taking home any awards come Oscar night.
I just don’t think this film has generated enough buzz to really give Slumdog or The Reader a run for their money. But, it’s one of my favorites in the category, so I’m glad to see it here.
Best Director – Gus Van Sant
I’ve said before that whatever takes Picture will take Director as well, and I just don’t think Van Sant will take it home over Boyle.
Best Actor – Sean Penn
Penn is fantastic as Milk and a lot of people seem to think he’ll take this one home, but I’m standing by Mickey. He’s more deserving and everyone loves a good comeback.
Best Supporting Actor – John Brolin
This nomination seems to be nominating his recent career choices than the actual role. He didn’t get any recognition for No Country and I hear that he was the only reason to watch W. Brolin followed all that up with a great supporting performance in Milk and here he is. Personally, I think Franco has the most stand out performance next to Penn, but either way no one’s taking this award from Ledger.
Best Original Screenplay
This, I think, is it’s best chance to take an award home for the night. The problem is that this category is just so unique. Recently there’s always been a breakout winner (Juno, Little Miss Sunshine), but this year I loved all the entries. However, Milk has the most nominations out of all the films in this category, so it does stand apart from the rest in that regard.
This is a good entry here, but I just don’t think it has enough to cut it against the beautifully cut Slumdog.
This is an interesting nomination, but I don’t think that the dated clothing will be enough to take home the win as the Academy tends to favors lavish costumes such as those in The Duchess.
I wish I could recall a single note of the score, but it just didn’t seem memorable enough to me. Those that I remember, such as Changeling and Revolutionary Road, didn’t get nominated. My score radar was definitely a tad off this year. Either way, I think that Slumdog will take this home on Sunday.