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Proposition Hate: Milk

Gus Van Sant's recaptures Californian intolerance at exactly the right time

Van Sant and Black position Milk as both gutsy civil rights leader and creative community organizer — not to mention a ­precedent-shattering politician who, it's very often reiterated, presented himself as a Messenger of Hope. Milk is now. The ecstatic reception accorded Wall-E's visionary tikkun (and the president-elect's strategic nonsupport for same-sex marriage) notwithstanding, it's the first openly Obama-ist movie.

Sean Penn plays martyred gay activist Harvey Milk.
Courtesy of Focus Features
Sean Penn plays martyred gay activist Harvey Milk.

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Rated R.

Here's hoping that Milk and Penn's Milk do as well in our annual fake election. When The Times of Harvey Milk won its Oscar for best documentary, presenter Kathleen Turner described it as "a film about American values in conflict." This time, the Academy won't have to be as ­discreet.

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