Milk won two Oscar awards, with Sean Penn winning the Best Actor award and Dustin Lance Black winning the Best Original Screenplay award. What "Milk"? A typical Singaporean may ask. Can't blame him/her though. Most would have watched the trailers for Red Cliff II, Love Matters and The Wedding Game so many times on the television that they would have imagined that the only way to make Mediacorp stop is to go watch the movies. But the trailers for Milk? None. Zero. The reason is simple. Milk is a R21 movie because of its homosexual theme.
This is the synopsis from Golden Village:
The story of California's first openly gay elected official, Harvey Milk, a San Francisco supervisor who was assassinated along with Mayor George Moscone by San Francisco Supervisor Dan White.
After moving to San Francisco, the middle-aged New Yorker, Harvey Milk, became a Gay Rights activist and city politician. On his third attempt, he was elected to San Francisco's Board of Supervisors in 1977, making him the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in the USA. The following year, both he and the city's mayor, George Moscone, were shot to death by former city supervisor, Dan White, who blamed his former colleagues for denying White's attempt to rescind his resignation from the board.
And this is the synopsis from MSN Movies:
Academy Award winner Sean Penn takes the title role in Gus Van Sant's biopic tracing the last eight years in the life of Harvey Milk, the ill-fated politician and gay activist whose life changed history, and whose courage still inspires people. When Milk was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977, he made history for being the first openly gay man in American history to be voted into public office. But the rights of homosexuals weren't Milk's primary concern, as tellingly evidenced by the wide array of political coalitions he formed over the course of his tragically brief career. He fought for everyone from union workers to senior citizens, a true hero of human rights who possessed nothing but compassion for his fellow man. The story begins in New York City, where a 40-year-old Milk ponders what steps he can take to make his life more meaningful.
Eventually, Milk makes the decision to relocate to the West Coast, where he and his lover, Scott Smith (James Franco), found a small business in the heart of a working-class neighborhood. Empowered by his love for the Castro neighborhood and the success of his business, Castro Camera, Milk somewhat unexpectedly begins to emerge as an outspoken agent for change. With a growing support system that includes both Scott and a like-minded young activist named Cleve Jones (Emile Hirsch), the charismatic Milk decides to take a fateful leap into politics, eventually developing a reputation as a leader who isn't afraid to follow up his words with actions. In short order, he is elected supervisor for the newly zoned District 5, though this seeming triumph is in fact the catalyst for a tragedy that starts to unfold as Milk does his best to forge a political partnership with Dan White (Josh Brolin), another newly elected supervisor. Over time it becomes apparent that Milk and White's political agendas are directly at odds, a revelation that puts their personal destinies on a catastrophic collision course.
It is apparent which synopsis is luring you to the ticketbox and which one is not.
Anyway, here's the trailer that you will not see on your television, or perhaps not even in the cinemas...
Milk (2008) Trailer at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3QzvIXYhVuQ
Of course, when Mediacorp screened the 2009 Oscars live telecast in the morning, little did they expect this movie to win an award, or worse, two! Immediately, they called upon their technical teams and Tada! The repeat telecast in the evening was nicely censored. All positive remarks on gay were removed and the Oscars was then fit for home viewing.
If you're still wondering why the winners for Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay awards were speaking in such funny ways, as if something were missing in their speech, well here you are. The full versions...
Sean Penn Wins for "Milk" Acceptance Speech at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dnM8v9aaR0
"For those who saw the signs of hatred as our cars drove in tonight, and I think it is a good time for those who voted for the ban against gay marriage to sit and reflect and anticipate their great shame and the shame in their grandchildren's eyes if they continue that way of support. We've got to have equal rights for everyone."
Screenwriter Dustin Lance Black winning an Oscar for "Milk" at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-mv35SN3ctU
"Oh my God. This was, um, this was not an easy film to make. First off, I have to thank Cleve Jones and Anne Kronenberg and all the real-life people who shared their stories with me. And, um, Gus Van Sant, Sean Penn, Emile Hirsch, Josh Brolin, James Franco and our entire cast, my producers Dan Jinks and Bruce Cohen, everyone at Groundswell and Focus for taking on the challenge of telling this life-saving story.
When I was 13 years old, my beautiful mother and my father moved me from a conservative Mormon home in San Antonio, Texas to California, and I heard the story of Harvey Milk. And it gave me hope. It gave me the hope to live my life. It gave me the hope one day I could live my life openly as who I am and then maybe even I could even fall in love and one day get married.
I wanna thank my mom, who has always loved me for who I am even when there was pressure not to. But most of all, if Harvey had not been taken from us 30 years ago, I think he'd want me to say to all of the gay and lesbian kids out there tonight who have been told that they are less than by their churches, by the government or by their families, that you are beautiful, wonderful creatures of value and that no matter what anyone tells you, God does love you and that very soon, I promise you, you will have equal rights federally, across this great nation of ours.
Thank you. Thank you. And thank you, God, for giving us Harvey Milk."
Milk,Oscar,Sean Penn,Best Actor,Dustin Lance Black,Best Original Screenplay,Harvey Milk