Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist


Sean Penn has a scrunched up, intense little face and Harvey Milk had a big, open face with large, liquid, doggy eyes. Also, in the surviving footage of Milk  you don't see the stereotypical gay tics and flourishes with which Penn's performance is so amply decorated.

Milk seems to have laughed easily.

Well, it's a decent film- and I'm sure it was a labour of love and conscience for everyone involved, but it's also a standard Hollywood bio-pic that has gone over the contours of the man's life with a plane. It's good it exists- because it raises awareness- but its too much of a hagiography to be anything more than superficially true. Milk lived a wilder, more unbuttoned life than this. He wasn't a concerned little gay husband; he had affairs; he put it about. Wikipedia tells me that Van Sant filmed a scene in a bath house- only you'll look in vain for it in the final cut.

And all the time I kept coming back to the way everyone looks. As Bunuel said, complaining about having to work with Catherine Deneuve and the like, "but they have such actors' faces..."
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