Milk (Rated R)
Gavin Grade: A-
Oscar Watch! Sean Penn has already been nominated for Best Actor by The Golden Globes for his portrayal of Harvey Milk. Who's Harvey Milk and why make a movie about him? Well, he was the first openly gay man elected into office in America. While he was in office, he worked hard to make sure that gay rights were brought to the front lines of America and shot down California Propositions that were cased in hate and bigortry. Sounds like 2008, right? Well this was 30 years ago and because of that, this movie rings so relevant. Besides the timely subject matter that might make you think twice about how you vote on gay issues, the performances are what drives this movie to its level of greatness. Sean Penn is just the beginning. His first boyfriend is James Franco, who also picked up a Golden Glob nomination...but for "Pinneapple Express." (Huh?) There's also Josh Brolin who stuns as another conflicted character with his subtle character ticks. And rounding it out is Emile Hersch who Penn directed last year in the amazing "Into the Wild." So far it sounds like a perfect movie, but it's not. Somewhere near the beginning of the third act, the movie gets plotting. It starts feeling slow, dragging and bogged down. Almost as if the plot is just treading water for the sake of staying longer, resulting in the just-over-two-hour-long movie feeling closer to two and a half. But the dragging doesn't last too long and the movie is not only a quality movie but it's an important movie; it's just so good when those two things sync up together.