I feel I should admit this upfront.
I hate Sean Penn.
I used to love him. Casualties of War. Carlito’s Way. The Game.
But then he started Oscar baiting and I find him increasingly annoying. It took me years to finally watch Mystic River despite winning Best Picture.
But he was great here. Amazing even. Probably the second best lead performance I’ve seen all year (The first is Wall-E and I’ll argue with anyone who wants to about that).
This movie shows that no matter how far we think we have come regarding our intolerance we still have a long, long way to go. I wish this had come out a month before the Prop 8 vote. The parallels are eerie.
This was also one of the best supporting casts I’ve seen in a biopic. Usually movies like this are showcases for the leads but Emile Hirsch as Cleve Jones (you are officially forgiven for Speed Racer), Josh Brolin as Dan White (I still can’t believe you played Brand Walsh in The Goonies), Diego Luna and James Franco were all amazing.