Script: Dustin Lance Black
Cast: Alison Pill, Diego Luna, Emile Hirsch, James Franco, Josh Brolin, Sean Penn
Setting: 1970s, USA
Rated : 7 Stars
Despite my long stated policy of not reading reviews until after I’ve seen a film I’ve come across quite a few views on this film. Mostly positive. Course I didn’t really read any of them. I’m not about to go against my own policy that way. But I did notice the good buzz. So maybe that is why I came out of the cinema a little disappointed at this one.
The film is based on the true story of Harvey Milk; the first openly gay man to be elected in America and his gay rights campaign. Until the talk about the film I’d never heard of him. He was assassinated the year before I was born, and this was the 1970’s, so many years before the wall to wall coverage we now get over here from the States. It is possible that if I was more familiar with the real life history I might have viewed the film differently.
But while I found the film quite good it never really grabbed hold of me on an emotional level. The acting was very good, especially from James Franco. Although on occasion I found that Penn seemed to be imitating mannerisms rather than acting-acting, but that’s to be expected a little I suppose.
To reduce it down I found this film very interesting. But none of the characters pulled me in and made me want to learn more about them, or what motivated them. That sounds overly cold and distant, but in a way that is how the film came across to me, distant. But interesting at the same time. And horrified at the way people treat and think about other people simply because of who they love. Not that we’ve come much further I guess.
Still, despite my issues with this film it is one that I would recommend.