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Milk (2008) - Oscar® Winner!

Director: Gus Van Sant     Starring: Emile Hirsch Josh Brolin Sean Penn
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Learn more about Milk:

Format: DVD
Sku: 210728731
UPC: 025195048972
UPC 14: 00025195048972
Rating: Game Rating Code
See more in Drama
|Based on the True Story.

"Harvey Milk was an intriguing, inspiring figure. Milk is a marvel.  A.O. Scott, The New York Times
"Penn's Oscar-caliber transformation is breathtaking, and the saga of one man's fight for human rights is engrossing.  Claudia Puig, USA Today
"...the best film of the year!  Clay Smith, The Insider
"A fascinating film -- more docudrama than biopic.  Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly
"...a genuinely powerful political film that works equally well as a story of personal triumph.  Perry Seibert, TV Guide
"...a total triumph, brimming with humor, heart, sexual heat, political provocation and a crying need to stir things up...  Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
"...a beautifully made, far less conventional movie biography than most.  Wesley Morris, Boston Globe

Editor's Note
MILK is director Gus Van Sant's riveting biopic about slain gay rights activist and San Francisco city supervisor Harvey Milk. Based on the politically resonant and thoroughly timely screenplay of documentarian Dustin Lance Black, Van Sant follows the arc of Milk's political awakening, from closeted Brooklyn insurance executive to doyen of San Francisco's Castro district's burgeoning gay mecca in the 1970s. Sean Penn portrays the film's hero, melting into the role with an affable flamboyance that is both spirited and eminently engaging. James Franco plays opposite Penn as Milk's supportive and easygoing boyfriend, Scott Smith. The couple's cheerful and loving rapport lends buoyancy to the film's overall message of hope as Milk ascends from grassroots community organizer to a galvanizing figurehead in the push for gay civil liberties. When Moral Majority crusader Anita Bryant forms an initiative to root out gay teachers and their supporters from public schools (Proposition 6), Milk is pitted in a bitter battle against fellow City Hall supervisor Dan White, played by Josh Brolin. While Van Sant does not deviate from the expository conventions that have defined other biopics, MILK sticks to biographically pertinent details that serve the film's underlying message of one man's idealism and conviction in the face of repression and bigotry.


Video Features DVD, Widescreen, English, Spanish, French, Dolby, Dolby Digital (5.1)

Technical Info

Release Information
Video Mfg Name Studio: Universal
Video Release Date Release Date: 8/22/2010
Video Play Time Running Time: 129 minutes
Video Release Year Original Release Date: 2008
Video CategoryId Catalog ID: 62105870
Video UPC UPC: 00025195048972
Video Number of Discs Number of Discs: 1

Audio & Video
Video Audio Spec Available Audio Tracks:
Video Color Spec Video: Color

Aspect Ratio
Video Aspect Ratio Anamorphic Widescreen  1.85:1
Entertainment Reviews
Expert Review Milk - DVD Review
By: Sean O'Connell DVD Reviews
Published on: 2/27/2009 5:25 PM
Thirty years before Sen. Barack Obama broke through a significant political color barrier, Harvey Milk tore down a similar wall that was obstructing America's gay community from holding political office. Milk finds experimental auteur Gus Van Sant taking cautious steps back toward the mainstream to celebrate Harvey's accomplishments. Van Sant's tender human-interest story, which showcases Sean Penn's considerable talents, is a closer relative to earlier efforts such as Finding Forrester or Good Will Hunting than to recent, abstruse features like Elephant, the spare Gerry, or the haunting Last the full review

Cast & Crew

Video Cast Info Emile Hirsch
Video Cast Info Josh Brolin
Video Cast Info Sean Penn
Video Cast Info Diego Luna
Video Cast Info James Franco
Video Cast Info Michael London - Executive Producer
Video Cast Info Bill Groom - Production Designer
Video Cast Info William Horberg - Executive Producer
Video Cast Info Dustin Lance Black - Executive Producer
Video Cast Info Francine Maisler - Casting
Video Cast Info Bruna Papandrea - Executive Producer
Video Cast Info Elliot Graham - Editor
Video Cast Info Danny Glicker - Costume Designer
Video Cast Info Harris Savides - Director of Photography
Video Cast Info Dustin Lance Black - Screenwriter
Video Cast Info Danny Elfman - Composer
Video Cast Info Dan Jinks - Producer
Video Cast Info Bruce Cohen - Producer
Video Cast Info Barbara A. Hall - Executive Producer
Video Cast Info Gus Van Sant - Director


Oscar (2009)
   Video Award Name Dan Jinks, Bruce Cohen, Nominee, Best Motion Picture of the Year

British Academy Awards (2009)
   Video Award Name Dan Jinks, Bruce Cohen, Nominee, Best Film

Oscar (2009)
   Video Award Name Danny Elfman, Nominee, Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score
   Video Award Name Danny Glicker, Nominee, Best Achievement in Costume Design
   Video Award Name Dustin Lance Black, Nominee, Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen
   Video Award Name Elliot Graham, Nominee, Best Achievement in Editing
   Video Award Name Gus Van Sant, Nominee, Best Achievement in Directing
   Video Award Name Josh Brolin, Nominee, Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

British Academy Awards (2009)
   Video Award Name Sean Penn, Nominee, Best Leading Actor

Golden Globe (2009)
   Video Award Name Sean Penn, Nominee, Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama

Oscar (2009)
   Video Award Name Sean Penn, Nominee, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

Screen Actors Guild (2009)
Video Award Name Sean Penn, Winner, Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role

Professional Reviews

"[T]he filmmakers have crucially infused the story with qualities in very short supply today -- gentleness and a humane embrace of all its characters..." 11/03/2008

Rolling Stone
4 stars out of 4 -- "It's a total triumph, brimming with humor, heart, sexual heat, political provocation and a crying need to stir things up, just like Harvey did." 11/27/2008 p.131

USA Today
3.5 stars out of 4 -- "MILK has one of the finest ensemble casts this year and a magnificent, career-topping performance by Sean Penn, who disappears into the title role." 11/25/2008

Los Angeles Times
"Penn, as we've come to expect, is extremely persuasive as someone with a different, more offbeat kind of charisma than many of his previous screen roles....Franco is a nice match for him....It's a powerful story." 11/26/2008

New York Times
"Harvey Milk was an intriguing, inspiring figure. MILK is a marvel....A fascinating, multi-layered history lesson." 11/26/2008

Entertainment Weekly
"Gus Van Sant's incisive and stirring dramatization of Harvey Milk's heroic life and violent death....MILK is a fascinating film..." -- Grade: A- 12/05/2008 p.52

Chicago Sun-Times
"MILK tells Harvey Milk's story as one of a transformed life, a victory for individual freedom over state persecution, and a political and social cause." 11/24/2008

Rolling Stone
Ranked #1 in Rolling Stone's 'Movies Of The Year' -- "[A] true political film. It finds its bristling purpose in humanity, not ideology." 01/08/2008 p.115

Box Office
4 stars out of 5 -- "[I]t's apparent Van Sant was making any and all efforts to bring Milk's story as close to it origin points as possible. The authenticity this Oregon native provides is palpable and, at times, breathtaking." 11/26/2008

4 stars out of 5 -- "[Penn] finds sufficient space amid the historical milestones to hint at the intensely private pain that underpins Milk's mission." 02/01/2009

Entertainment Weekly
Included in Entertainment Weekly's 2008 Films Of The Year -- "The movie becomes a stirring primer on the participatory political process, and an unspoken exhortation to get involved." 12/26/2008

Total Film
4 stars out of 5 -- "Gus Van Sant's earnest, lucid biopic is more than a portrait of one man. It's also a snapshot of his times..." 02/01/2009

Hollywood Reporter
"[T]he first great film to look at civil rights from the perspective of the gay movement....It transcends any single genre as a very human document that touches first and foremost on the need to give people hope." 11/02/2008

ReelViews 9 of 10
30 years have passed since the assassination of San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk and, the ballot passage of California's recent Proposition 8 notwithstanding, advances have been made in the area of gay rights, although there are still many hurdles left to be cleared. Gus Van Sant points his camera back to the 1970s to capture a small series of similarities to today's climate as filtered through huge refracted differences. By imbuing the characters with humanity and personality, Van Sant avoids the obvious traps of making Milk a sycophantic tribute or a slickly made piece of propaganda. The story sticks as close to the facts as any bio-pic I can think of and Van Sant uses plenty of genuine '70s stock footage to amplify the period verisimilitude. As important as is Milk's contribution to understanding the turbulent world of three decades past, the film is equally notable for its ability to reflect how the fight for which Milk died still rages...Milk feels like an important picture, but not in a way that makes it tedious to watch. There's no pretentious sheen to the proceedings. In fact, the essential story is comprised of basic elements: the triumph of the underdog, David vs. Goliath, and the American tragedy of a strong voice silenced too soon. Knowing how the story ends merely emphasizes the importance of the steps taken to get to that point. Van Sant is cognizant of the film's political applicability to current events, but chose to release the film after Election Day rather than have it pigeonholed as propaganda whose entire purpose was to sway voters. For those who are not dissuaded by the homosexual subject matter (and it would be unrealistic to pretend that the film's potential box office will not be depressed as a result of this), Milk represents a thought provoking, cathartic, and mostly true tale of politics and courage. - James Berardinelli

Chicago Sun-Times 10 of 10
Sean Penn amazes me. Not long before seeing "Milk," I viewed his work in "Dead Man Walking" again. Few characters could be more different, few characters could seem more real. He creates a character with infinite attention to detail, and from the heart out. Here he creates a character who may seem like an odd bird to mainstream America and makes him completely identifiable..."Milk," from an original screenplay by Dustin Lance Black, tells the story of its hero's rise from disaffected middle-aged hippie to national symbol. Interlaced are his romantic adventures. He remained friendly with Scott Smith after they drifted apart because of his immersion in politics. He had a weakness for befriending wet puppies: at first, Cleve Jones (Emile Hirsch), who became another community organizer. Then Jack Lira (Diego Luna), a Mexican American who became neurotically jealous of Milk's political life. The prudent thing would have been to cut ties with Lira, but Milk was almost compulsively supportive..."Milk" tells Harvey Milk's story as one of a transformed life, a victory for individual freedom over state persecution, and a political and social cause. There is a remarkable shot near the end, showing a candlelight march reaching as far as the eyes can see. This is actual footage. It is emotionally devastating. And it comes as the result of one man's decisions in life...Sean Penn never tries to show Harvey Milk as a hero, and never needs to. He shows him as an ordinary man, kind, funny, flawed, shrewd, idealistic, yearning for a better world. He shows what such an ordinary man can achieve. Milk was the right person in the right place at the right time, and he rose to the occasion. So was Rosa Parks. Sometimes, at a precise moment in history, all it takes is for one person to stand up. Or sit down. - Roger Ebert

Product Attributes

Product attributeVideo Format:   DVD
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