Test 2

Please select your preferred language.





Remember Me

New to Fridae?

Fridae Mobile


More About Us

23 Jan 2009

'Milk' gets 8 Oscar nominations, including best picture and actor

Sean Penn's performance as gay rights activist and California's first openly gay elected official has earned him a Best Actor nomination; Gus Van Sant is nominated for Best Director and Dustin Lance Black for Original Screenplay.

Milk has received eight Oscar nominations from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for Best Picture, Gus Van Sant for Best Director, Josh Brolin for Supporting Actor and Dustin Lance Black for Original Screenplay.

Some 30 years ago, Harvey Milk made the national headlines for becoming the first openly gay person to be elected to public office in the United States after three unsuccessful campaigns.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors member was assassinated at the age of 48 after 11 months on the job.

Film critic Betsy Sharkey at the Los Angeles Times wrote of the buzz surrounding the nominations:

"Today, the fact that Milk received eight Oscar nominations from the academy, including best picture, is significant and says much about where we are in our relationship, and comfort level, with the gay rights movement. In a word - improving.

"Why? Director Gus Van Sant's Milk is not a tentative film, rather it is openly, unapologetically gay. It begins with an introduction to a very fey Sean Penn as the still unrealised political activist Harvey Milk. On the night in question, he's a guy on the prowl for a hookup with another guy in the grimy underground of the New York subways.

"From there we are taken to San Francisco, the heart of the gay movement in the '70s, as we watch Milk's political passions rise. But there is also sex, everywhere; the film is saturated with gay experience, the nuance and many textures of gay life and all that it means.

"Milk's message - one that screenwriter Dustin Lance Black has threaded through every moment, every word - is a defiant one: If you are gay then face it, embrace it and live it.

"That alone takes us miles beyond the world of "Brokeback Mountain" in 2005 with its beautiful cowboys locked for a lifetime in a tortured closet of shame, denial and pain."

(Read more of her column at theenvelope.latimes.com.)

Milk has been nominated for:
Best Motion Picture of the Year
Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role - Sean Penn
Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role - Josh Brolin
Achievement in Directing - Gus Van Sant
Best Original Screenplay - Dustin Lance Black
Achievement in Costume Design- Danny Glicker
Achievement in Film Editing - Elliot Graham
Best Orignal Score - Danny Elfman

81st Oscar Nominees
The 81st Annual Academy Awards will be presented on Feb 22. For a complete list of nominees, visit oscar.com.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire

Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire
David Fincher, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Ron Howard, Frost/Nixon
Stephen Daldry, The Reader
Gus Van Sant, Milk

Richard Jenkins, The Visitor
Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon
Sean Penn, Milk
Brad Pitt, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler

Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married
Angelina Jolie, Changeling
Melissa Leo, Frozen River
Meryl Streep, Doubt
Kate Winslet, The Reader

Josh Brolin, Milk
Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
Robert Downey Jr., Tropic Thunder
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Doubt
Michael Shannon, Revolutionary Road

Amy Adams, Doubt
Penlope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Viola Davis, Doubt
Taraji P. Henson, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Marisa Tomei, The Wrestler

Frozen River, Courtney Hunt
Happy-Go-Lucky, Mike Leigh
In Bruges, Martin McDonagh
Milk, Dustin Lance Black
WALL-E, Andrew Stanton, Jim Reardon, Pete Docter

Reader's Comments

1. 2009-01-24 00:57  
just saw it tonight and it was great
penn is good but i think a lot of the other actors really gave solid performances.
Very sad story
2. 2009-01-24 13:17  
If you are gay, lesbian or bisexual, you should go see it.

See it for that little gay kid in you who had no role models growing up.

See it so you can be inspired to make a difference for the young GLBT kids growing up now.

See it because you, me and all of us deserve the same respect as everyone else.
3. 2009-01-24 13:19  
Oops, sorry I left out my Transgender friends in the previous comment. Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender: go see this movie.
4. 2009-01-25 08:18  
I actually liked Mickey Rourke's portrayal of The Wrestler best.

I don't know why Friday have their blinkers on when it comes to articles like these.

Do they think they gay community should only watch gay related movies?
How narrow minded is that?
5. 2009-01-25 12:56  
Gay-related it may be, but has none of the substance of Brokeback Mountain... I do tire of seeing films that celebrate the us-and-them segregation which continues to leave queer people as a marginalised 'community' as opposed to extant parts of each and every neighbourhood in the world.

I know Harvey Milk made a big difference for gay people, at least in San Francisco. But it would have been nice for Gus Van Sant to perhaps look a little more closely at the dangers inherent in gay militancy, and perhaps made his tribute to one of the founding fathers of the gay rights movement more appropriate to the modern world.

I'm rooting for Happy-Go-Lucky to win Best Original Screenplay.
6. 2009-01-26 05:39  
I don't think "Milk" will receive any awards at the Oscars. It has a strong "ghetto" feel to it without much of a substance of other really great films dealing with homosexuality such as "Brokeback Mountain" in 2006 (thus I agree with the post # 5 below). There are some of other better movies dealing with larger, deeper and more interesting issues that got nominated this year. Personally, for the best actor, I would voted for Frank Langella in his stunning portrayal of Richard Nixon in "Frost/Nixon", or Mickey Rourke in a surprisingly good performance in "The Wrestler".
Comment #7 was deleted by its author
8. 2009-01-28 20:15  
Finally seen it. Penn, normally so macho, is totally convincing as Milk, with his very understated slight campness that is not at all stereotyped. He certainly doesn't flinch at kissing men, from the first few minutes of the film on. I think that performance is worthy of an oscar. I wonder if any bits were cut in Singapore, like with Wilde last year?

The film captures the whole atmosphere of the times well.

The only other Oscar contender I've seen so far is Slumdog Millionaire, by Danny Boyle. It is a hugely enjoyable movie, perfect for these glum times, combining the suspense of the plot with the suspense of the game show, to keep you on the edge of your seat throughout. I hope it wins a couple of awards too.

Please log in to use this feature.


Select News Edition

Featured Profiles

Now ALL members can view unlimited profiles!


View this page in a different language:

Like Us on Facebook


 ILGA Asia - Fridae partner for LGBT rights in Asia IGLHRC - Fridae Partner for LGBT rights in Asia