I can see why Penn won the Oscar, as he gives an award winning performance playing Harvey Milk, the political activist / homosexual. Just turning 40, Milk becomes the voice for the gay community of San Francisco and eventually gets elected onto the board of Supervisors for the city, becoming the first opening gay man to ever be elected to office. But with his success also came his tragedies, when his young lover took his own life. After turning 48, he would be assassinated by a colleague, Dan White. As a teen, I do remember hearing of a man trying to get off murder charges by his plea of the "Twinkies Defense." Until now, I never made the connection to Dan White being the man responsible for ending Harvey Milk's life. White's attorney argued that because Dan ate junk food, his mind had become chemically imbalanced causing him to shoot and kill both Harvey Milk and State Senator John Briggs (Denis O'Hare). This is the true story of Harvey Milks life and his importance in getting the gay community on the map to acceptance. Other important figures include Scott Smith (James Franco), Cleve Jones (Emile Hirsch), Anne Kronenberg (Alison Pill), and Danny Nicoletta (Lucas Grabeel), to name a few.
Director: Gus Van Sant
Writer: Dustin Lance Black
Producers: Bruce Cohen, Michael London, Dan Jinks