Christmas night

After a relaxing Christmas day, and a late afternoon nap with the schnauzers, Brett and I headed out to a movie tonight. That's rare in itself as I'm not much of a moviegoer, much to Brett's dismay. We headed to the Tivoli to see Milk, going there because it's rarely crowded, and the crush of people is the thing I hate about movies.

You already know the basics of the story. Harvey Milk leaves New York for San Francisco, energizes the Castro, and after a number of failed attempts is finally elected Supervisor. He orchestrates the defeat of Proposition 6 and enacts a gay rights ordinance, only to be shot to death by Dan White (portrayed as an uptight, ego-driven boozehound by Josh Brolin). Still, the storytelling is really well done, and there's probably some things you'll learn while you watch. The Twinkie Defense? That came from Dan White's attorneys, which I did not know. I also didn't know that Dan White served 5 years and was released from prison. Five years for two deaths doesn't seem quite like justice, but he returned to San Francisco and evenually killed himself so in the end I suppose it doesn't matter.

There's also lots of old news footage of Anita Bryant. We Wiki'd her when we got home to see if she was still alive. Sadly she is, but I'm pleased to report that her divorce apparently ruined her in the eyes of her fundamentalist christian audience, and she's filed for bankruptcy twice. She now lives in Edmond, Oklahoma where she runs something called Anita Bryant Ministries. I've never heard of Anita Bryant Ministries, which is just as it should be.

Sean Penn is amazing as Harvey Milk. You start watching thinking "wow, Sean Penn just kissed a guy" but before long it's all Harvey and no Sean. The supporting cast is just as good. James Franco plays Milk's boyfriend Scott Smith, and couldn't be more adorable. Admittedly, I have a bit of a 70's fetish. The hair, the clothes, the mustaches...yeah baby. But even without all that the acting is great.

My verdict: well worth the price of a ticket. Go and enjoy.


Karena said...

David, sounds like a nice relaxing Christmas with Brett. My sister and I want to see the movie, so thanks for the great review!

Anonymous said...

I really liked it too but i have to wonder if Harvey Milk really said "you gotta give them hope"? That does not sound like him to me. Do you think that was made up for theatrical reasons?

David said...

It does seem a bit theatrical, I wouldn't be surprised if they took a bit of artistic license with that.