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Movie Recommendations: Milk & This Is England PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Jeff   
Tuesday, 08 December 2009 12:55
I have another couple movie recommendations for the 7 of you that will read this. I watched Milk and This Is England this weekend, and they were both incredible. Again, much like with Michael Clayton, I know it's not much of a reach to recommend Milk. It was held in very high regard and won multiple awards. But for those of you that have been holding out for some reason, or just haven't had a chance to watch it yet, I highly suggest it.

Milk is based on true events & the life of Harvey Milk. Milk was a gay activist & eventually became the first openly gay politician to be elected into any office in the United States. Milk was portrayed by Sean Penn (whom won the Academy Award for Best Actor). I know some people don't like Penn because of his political views, but you can't deny that he is an incredible actor. The supporting cast also did a great job. James Franco, Josh Brolin (nominated for Best Supporting Actor), Emile Hirsch, Diego Luna, Alison Pill, Victor Garber, Denis O'Hare and Joseph Cross, among others, were all outstanding.

Milk was directed by Gus Van Sant. Van Sant is a great filmmaker. He also directed Good Will Hunting, Drugstore Cowboy, My Own Private Idaho, Finding Forrester and Elephant, among others. Milk also won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay; and was also nominated for Best Picture, Best Directing, Best Original Score, Best Editing and Best Achievement in Costume Design. If you haven't seen it yet, please check it out.

The other film I saw this weekend and recommend is This Is England. Quite a different film than Milk, but also very well made and extremely powerful. In the vein of American History X, Romper Stomper, 16 Years of Alcohol and The Believer; This Is England is a film about skinheads. This film however is set in 1983 England. It was written & directed by Shane Meadows, and is based on some of his real life experiences. The main character, 12-year-old Shaun, is played by first-time actor Thomas Turgoose. Turgoose gives an incredible performance in a film with an extremely heavy subject matter. Shaun is a loner & is picked on quite a bit at school. One day, he stumbles upon, and is taken in by a young group of skinheads. Believe it or not, this group is actually fun, friendly & non-political. It's not until Combo (played by Stephen Graham) shows back up from a stint in prison, that Shaun realizes what skinheads are really all about. This Is England is pretty brutal at some points, but don't let that deter you. It's also a very poetic & emotional film. If you're up for something a little different, I highly recommend it. I hope you enjoy them both.
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