This year's Milk seemed to be new territory for Van Sant. Despite remaining true to form and taking on a topic with depth and importance, the movie enlisted top Hollywood actors and appeared to be geared towards a large audience. But unlike Finding Forester, Van Sant held onto his trademarks and oversaw a movie that stands with his best. Gone is the quirky and unique camerawork evidenced in Paranoid Park and Elephant, but remaining are the moments, spirit and soul that make Van Sant a tour de force.
Most importantly, this is a film of grand importance, especially given the present-day civil rights issues around gay and lesbian rights and marriage. Harvey Milk's fight in the mid-to-late 70's brought rise to many of the same fights being staged today in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York City and throughout the country. And Van Sant was the perfect fit for a film that needed to be done right. Milk is the first great movie I've seen released this year. All the accolades thrown upon this picture are well deserved.