Austin News


Sean Penn needs to clear some of that junk off his mantlepiece

MILK opens tomorrow at the Ritz and the sense of excitement about Sean Penn's complex and inspirational performance as openly gay San Francisco City Supervisor Harvey Milk is building to a fever pitch.

Milk was a figure of great humanity, depth and public responsibility, and a funny, funny man. He was a figure who commanded admiration from all who knew him, from his gay and lesbian base in the Castro to labor activists who never could have dreamed they would support a gay candidate but who were won over by his magnetic charm and political genius. He was a great man, always a big acting challenge. But it looks like Penn has risen to the occasion. The reviews certainly bear that out:

"Mr. Penn, an actor of unmatched emotional intensity and physical discipline, outdoes himself here, playing a character different from any he has portrayed before." - A.O. Smith , New York Times

"Penn goes way deep and soulful in a highly ingratiating performance that's the one to beat for the Best Actor Oscar." - Lou Lumenick, NY Post

"Penn is so engaging, physically loose and just plain smart in the title role, he's bound to top everyone's shortlist come awards time." - Bob Mondello, NPR

"At the heart of this eloquent portrait of a cultural catalyst is Penn's profoundly human, and possibly finest, performance." - Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post

"A magnificent, career-topping performance by Sean Penn, who disappears into the title role." - Claudia Puig, USA Today

"Penn's performance is a marvelous act of empathy" - Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal

"I don't know that this is Penn's best performance, overall -- let's have that debate some other time -- but as far as the mannered, immersive impersonations of his later career go, Harvey Milk takes the cake." - Andrew O'Hehir, Salon

And that's just Sean Penn. In a cast that includes Josh Brolin, Emile Hirsch, James Franco and others. In a film directed by Gus Van Sant, whose work has ranged from DRUGSTORE COWBOY to GOOD WILL HUNTING.

Looks pretty unmissable from here. Check it out starting tomorrow at the Ritz.

News Categories: Austin


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