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22 February 2009

OscarsFilter: Milk Is Best Picture IMHO - Your Thoughts? [More:]

First off, let me say that this was a nearly perfect film. It had everything - obsidian acting, great story, believable characters, and a refreshing lack of sentimentality.

Not only that, it inspired me. How can you not love a man who at the age of 40, says "he's done nothing in his life he could be proud of," and then goes out and changes the entire debate on civil rights.

I loved this movie and everything it was trying to say. Harvey Milk is my new hero and mentor.

Anyone else seen it yet? What did you think? Better yet, anyone here around in SF back then who can talk directly about the events in this movie?
I haven't seen any of the Best Picture yet. I'd like to see Slumdog in the theater but the rest seem like they can wait until I can netflix them.
posted by octothorpe 22 February | 10:10
I haven't seen Milk. I am disappointed that I haven't seen it yet. We tried to see it last week but we were late. I don't think it's playing this week. Dammit, Jim.

Out of the nominees, I've only seen Frost/Nixon and Slumdog Millionaire. I haven't seen Benjamin Button, Milk, or The Reader. Nixon and Slumdog were both very good, but I'll have to vote Slumdog for best picture.

I have to see Milk. Sean Penn can act his butt off.
posted by LoriFLA 22 February | 10:47
oh hey, LoriFLA? In this movie, he literally does.
posted by Lipstick Thespian 22 February | 10:54
Only Slumdog and Button played near me, but I see The Reader is playing this week (but I'm in Boston). Button is already gone and Slumdog only played in the 48 seat theatre at the local megaplex. Looking at Fandango for next Friday, both Slumdog and The Reader will be gone.

Milk will probably not play in my region even if it wins.
posted by Ardiril 22 February | 11:03
Milk was terrific, absolutely. It was far better than Benjamin Button and Slumdog Millionaire. Haven't seen Frost/Nixon or The Reader. It would he hard to beat Milk for acting, writing, inspirational qualities or significance, though. I'm still thinking Slumdog might win anyway because it appeals to the traditional Hollywood taste.
posted by Lipstick Thespian 22 February | 11:47
[last comment was mine. God DAMN it.]
posted by Miko 22 February | 11:49
I disagree that it was lacking in sentimentality. I liked "Milk" on the whole, but issue films are sort of "guilty until proven innocent" IMO. I can't remember who said it but it's true -- you can't simultaneously tell a story and make a speech.

"Milk" comes up short of speechifying, which is why I like it, but not by much. I think it's a good movie, and yeah, there wasn't a weak actor in the bunch, but I don't see quite what the fuss is about.
posted by middleclasstool 22 February | 12:14
I think Milk should win but I can live with Slumdog. I'll be unhappy if it's Button.

I'm still pissed about the best foreign language category. Let The Right One In was not even nominated. I realize it's too serious and dark for Hollywood but it should have been given a nod at least.
posted by arse_hat 22 February | 12:15
Oh, yeah, LtROI was awesome. That final scene in the pool was wonderful.
posted by middleclasstool 22 February | 12:18
arsey, I just finished reading "Let The Right One In"; great book! I haven't seen the film.
posted by taz 22 February | 12:41
I've got LTROI coming next in my Netflix queue. Slumdog was such a sloppy, melodramatic mess of a movie after the kids grew up. Talk about overtly sentimental movies!

Benjamin Button was a one-trick pony with some nice moments and good acting.

Milk, though, man - sure, it was a message movie, but for once the message wasn't blared from the rooftops - it was in there with the humanity of the film, and nicely handled by all the actors. It allowed you to be inspired by the message almost as a side-note.

Of course, YMMV. I loved it, obviously.
posted by Lipstick Thespian 22 February | 12:41
The only one I saw was Slumdog, I liked it but it wasn't earth shattering. It reminded me of City of God which I thought was a much better movie.
posted by doctor_negative 22 February | 13:54
I've seen only two or three of the films on the various ballots (and none of the Best Picture nominees, wow). Milk looks promising, though.

A friend invited us to an Oscar's party tonight, and I'm bringing cookies and milk. Geddit?
posted by Elsa 22 February | 15:09
I liked Milk, but I think biopics are a flawed genre. I thought Frost/Nixon was slightly better, but I don't really think it was "Best Picture" quality either. For me, it's just one of those years when I wish they could just skip Best Picture.
posted by mullacc 22 February | 15:57
AFter all, when you look at the films that won Best Picture through history, they definitely aren't the same ones that really were Best Pictures. Many haven't stood the test of time, and many that have weren't nominated or didn't win.
posted by Miko 22 February | 16:49
Tried to see Milk On Saturday, but it would have been half an hour over by the time we got from the end of the ticket queue to the front of the ticket queue.
Tonight's screening isn't til after 9pm, but hopefully we'll make it to the 6.40pm tomorrow.

Tried to see The Class last Thursday, but due to a hold up at work and peak hour traffic, we were late, so ended up seeing Gran Torino instead, which was wonderful. Well done, Clint.

Slumdog Millionaire was very good, but I felt it had its faults and didn't strike me as Best Picture.

I'm looking forward to seeing the dresses on the red carpet more than anything else.
posted by goshling 22 February | 17:40
Miko: Best Picture is one of those things that I can't help but judge on my terms rather than (usually disappointing) reality. I happen to think they got it right last year, but looking back that was the first time I can say that since...jeez, Unforgiven in 1992.
posted by mullacc 22 February | 17:53
Two films that I thought could easily have been nominated for Best Picture were Doubt and Rachel Getting Married.
posted by Ike_Arumba 22 February | 20:04
"biopics are a flawed genre"

So true, you must assume the entire movie is fiction until you learn the actual history.
posted by Ardiril 22 February | 20:33
That's true, but they can be well done nonetheless. And actual histories vary wildly in terms of interpretation.
posted by Miko 22 February | 20:49
I think Milk is too "queer" of a film to win, but I really hope I'm wrong. Hard to say exactly what I mean by that, but there's something about its whole sensibility -- from the seamless incorporation of documentary footage, to the profoundly ethereal & gentle score, to its careful portrayal of Dan White as a very flawed but still human character -- that is quite different from what you'd normally think of as a biopic or message movie. It's a film that, IMO, really inhabits and comes from the place/time/person it portrays, not one that's content with simply and politely representing/depicting that place/time/person.

Anyhow, that's my plate of beans for the night . . .
posted by treepour 22 February | 23:51
treepour, I really think Gus Van Sant with Paranoid Park and Milk really came to deliver what his early work promised. Milk was the best film I saw this year. It did not make Milk a flawless man or White an evil man and left us a lot to think about.

And yes bio pics are flawed but so is all other art.
posted by arse_hat 23 February | 00:06
I also have to say I think I rated Slumdog higher than many folks here. It is a throwback to old Hollywood movies (early and mid talkies) (filtered through Bollywood) that provided uplifting stories in hard times.

Everyone is poor but you can find HOPE in the cacophony. And HOPE is not just money but maybe love. Corney but fun and it is a love song to a city.

Not deep but still fun.
posted by arse_hat 23 February | 00:20
Frost/Nixon would have been my pick. Milk was ok, but F/N was the one which grabbed me.
posted by brujita 23 February | 00:30
I think I may have rated Frost/Nixon a bit lower just because I still remember the real interviews well. I was a sick, sick little child.
posted by arse_hat 23 February | 00:35
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