Review of Milk. Short version: You should go see it. It’s good.

Sorry about the lackadaisical blogging lately. You know, for an economy in crisis, I have had more work than ever. There was the annual meeting on Wednesday, and the CEO wanted pictures of everyone in the agency for a slide show while people were entering the auditorium. Guess who had to go take pictures of everyone, therefore sealing my fate as the most-disliked person in the agency? That would be me. Because I felt so guilty for taking everyone’s picture, I then spent hours and hours photoshopping everyone – taking out zits and red eye and bags under said red eyes, etc. Never mind the regular work I had to do. It was tiring, to say the least. But the meeting went smashingly and that’s what really matters to me. Yay, Team Presentations!

Before the mega-workathon began, I got to see a preview showing of Milk, with Emile Hirsch, Josh Brolin, James Franco, Allison Pill and Gus Van Sant in a Q-and-A afterward. Let’s start with an overall review: Good film. Not the best film I’ve ever seen (that would be Shawshank Redemption), but damn good. I’m forlorn because now Sean Penn is going to get Best Actor at the Oscars for his stellar performance as Harvey Milk. I really wanted Frank Langella to get Best Actor for Frost/Nixon. I haven’t seen the film yet, but I saw the play that the movie is taken directly from, same title actors, and Frank was KILLER. Super-awesome. And now he’s not going to get it. Sniff, whimper. The plot seems overly dramatic, but I found out later that all the things I thought were smudged by the director to make the story more interesting were true. Like Harvey Milk’s lover killing himself in an elaborate way the night before he was elected to office. And the way (*MAJOR SPOILER that you should know about anyway because this is a historical event that happened thirty years ago, but I’m giving you a heads-up out of courtesy*) Dan White kills Harvey Milk, and then blames it on Twinkies. Twinkies made him kill. For reals, people. Can’t make that stuff up. Also, I thought I had a vague grasp on the homosexual scene in America, and I was wrong. I had no idea that in my lifetime, a law was passed in some states that made it completely acceptable to not hire someone, or to deny someone the right to live in your area because they were gay. And if you were a teacher and openly gay, you could be fired. And if you supported an openly gay teacher, you could be fired. I was shocked. I thought outright prejudice against gays was like, a dusty ancient black-and-white-photos thing, not something that was happening fairly recently. It really threw me. And in San Francisco, a place I thought that was one of the most welcoming cities towards gays. Shocking.
Two interesting side notes: One, Emile Hirsch recently starred in a movie called Into The Wild, produced by Sean Penn, and now he’s starring in a film with Sean Penn as an actor. When asked how that was for him, Emile said, “It’s difficult playing a game with your coach,” which I thought was a cool way of putting it. And James Franco, when asked what it was like to kiss Sean Penn, said, “You get another man’s 1970s mustache in your mouth. And I couldn’t stop thinking, ‘Hey, I’m kissing Spicoli!” I thought that was hysterical.

If you don’t get the Spicoli reference, you should rent Fast Times at Ridgemont High. It is a classic American film, and even if you don’t like the film, it’s referenced all the time in popular culture, so you’ll be more “hip”.

Addendum on December 15th: I was watching Reelz Channel today, and they were saying Mickey Rourke might get Best Actor for a film called The Wrestler. What the hell is this? People just be comin’ out of the woodwork with nominations. FRANK OR SEAN. That’s it.

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