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SEAN PENN WINS BEST ACTOR OSCAR

With all due respect to a riveting performance from Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler, the Academy’s honor of Sean Penn’s excellent portrayal as Harvey Milk is beyond deserved. And combined with Dustin Lance Black winning Best Screenplay? It’s a good night. Raise your glasses, ladies and gents. This one is for us. (Check in with Queerty on Monday for Oscar coverage.)

By:           editor editor
On:           Feb 22, 2009
Tagged: , ,
  • 55 Comments
    • sivan
      sivan

      Redemption. To quote a dear friend on Election Day, amen.

      Feb 22, 2009 at 11:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • David
      David

      Loved his speech! Loved it when he won.

      Also loved when Dustin Lance Black won for Best Original Screenplay!

      Feb 22, 2009 at 11:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • benjamin
      benjamin

      No white rubbon in support of marriage equality on his lapel though (as far as I can tell on the picture).

      Feb 23, 2009 at 12:07 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alex
      Alex

      His speech couldn’t have been any better!
      It was amazing.

      Feb 23, 2009 at 12:10 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers
      The Gay Numbers

      Black’s speech was by far the most moving to me on a personal level.

      I agree that both Rourke (who now has thankfully a revitalized career) and Penn are major talents, but that Penn deserved it a little bit more if only by a hair.

      Feb 23, 2009 at 12:13 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bob
      Bob

      I wonder what he was referring to when he said everyone in the auditorium say the signs of hatred as they drove up to the Kodak Theater?

      Feb 23, 2009 at 12:21 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ConservativeRepublican
      ConservativeRepublican

      I thought it should’ve gone to Rourke.

      Black’s speech brought tears to my eyes.

      Feb 23, 2009 at 12:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • An Other Greek
      An Other Greek

      @Bob:

      me too!

      —————-

      Feb 23, 2009 at 12:30 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ConservativeRepublican
      ConservativeRepublican

      @Bob:

      The Westboro Baptist Church members (Fred Phelps and his “God Hates Fags” family) were protesting outside of the theater.

      Feb 23, 2009 at 12:30 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike
      Mike

      @Dave

      Who’s Shawn?

      Feb 23, 2009 at 12:42 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers
      The Gay Numbers

      @Dave: Do you know what kind of work goes into acting? I am not saying he’s not blessed to do what he loves, but I don’t get statements that make acting out to be some kind of non-profession.

      Feb 23, 2009 at 12:46 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      Congratulations to Sean Penn for winning an Oscar for portraying a gay rights leader and politician in a movie. He’s a good actor.

      Feb 23, 2009 at 12:48 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael W.
      Michael W.

      Mickey Rourke was robbed tonight.

      If Harvey Milk was a heterosexual, there’s no way Sean Penn wins tonight.

      If Prop 8 was defeated, there’s no way Sean Penn wins tonight.

      That Oscar is forever tainted. It was given with politics in mind rather than rewarding the best work.

      Feb 23, 2009 at 12:48 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Smokey Martini
      Smokey Martini

      Let’s not forget this speech!

      Feb 23, 2009 at 12:56 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • kevin (not that one)
      kevin (not that one)

      @Michael W.: Using your logic, Brokeback Mountain would’ve won easily.

      I doubt you’ve even seen Milk. I have and I thought it was a great performance. I was completely convinced that Penn was Milk and it was a gripping performance all around.

      Feb 23, 2009 at 1:09 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael W.
      Michael W.

      @kevin (not that one): I’ve seen it 3 times now.

      And Brokeback had the misfortune of coming along too early. If the movie was released in 2008, after the failure of Prop 8, you can bet that it would’ve cleaned up wherever it was nominated on this Oscar night. At the same time if Milk came a few years earlier, Sean Penn would not have another Best Actor award tonight.

      Feb 23, 2009 at 1:47 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Erick
      Erick

      @Michael W.:

      Not really. Rourkes performance was exceptional, but how much of stretch from his own situation was needed for the role.

      You really saw a transformation with Sean Penn and isnt that what this award is all about.

      Well, deserved win for Penn.

      Feb 23, 2009 at 1:48 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • greg
      greg

      I also don’t like politics entering into awards for artistic achievement. But the truth is, Penn is such a damn good actor that he deserves this award no matter what the surrounding political context might be. Like Streep, he’s in a class of his own, and still a lot more years to live … unless the chain smoking catches up with him.

      Feb 23, 2009 at 1:48 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • cmp
      cmp

      @Michael W.: I think Sean Penn was amazing in this movie. He helped bring more light to the cause that has consumed most of my (a homosexual) life. He got a lot of people thinking tonight. This received a lot of national coverage, and Sean Penn’s role made a much bigger impact in touching the lives of people than The Wrestler could have ever imagined.

      As far as politics of the award goes, you have two great movies: The Wrestler and Milk. Two great actors: Mickey Rourke and Sean Penn. What is the extra factor that helps push one above the other? Content.

      Don’t get me wrong, The Wrestler can pull at a lot of strings, and make people really feel. Everyone can relate to love, loss, and loneliness; and these are the feelings that helped The Wrestler. But Milk has all of that, and more.

      And… if Harvey Milk were a heterosexual, this movie wouldn’t have been made (because this wouldn’t have happened).

      If being homosexual weren’t looked down (which still boggles my mind) Prop 8 wouldn’t have existed. So if you’re going to blame anything with that, call your local bigot, I’m sure they’re all ears.

      Just based on your post, I’d say, try to put yourself in someone elses shoes. This is much more than just another movie role to a lot of people. It’s a story of our fight.

      Feb 23, 2009 at 1:50 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RDM
      RDM

      @The Gay Numbers:

      For a horrible moment, I thought you were referring to Jack Black.

      Feb 23, 2009 at 2:06 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • getreal
      getreal

      Thank you Sean Penn! It is so important for the LGBT community to know there are so many straight people out there (and straight black christians who support equality like me, yes we exist)who are part of this fight! Marriage equality is no longer just a gay issue it is an issue for ALL Americans we cannot sit quietly by and observe the injustice.Prop 8 and all such legislation are a stain on our country. It is time for equal rights for all Americans! It makes you wonder how many people watched his speech and woke up? Some did, can’t you feel it? I felt it for quite some time and Sean Penn underlined it tonight that this issue belongs to every American.

      Feb 23, 2009 at 2:07 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RDM
      RDM

      @Michael W.: If frogs had wings, they wouldn’t drag their assholes on the ground.

      Please join the rest of us in the reality-based community.

      Feb 23, 2009 at 2:08 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • getreal
      getreal

      @Michael W.: Well the best and brightest of the film making community would disagree with you. You have a right to your opinion but it seems motivated by prejudice. Perhaps you should as Sean Penn said “reflect”on your choices. I ( and the Academy) believe the best man won tonight I’m sorry you are disappointed but maybe this an opportunity for you to ask yourself some hard questions. Number 1 being why do I feel the need to persecute, oppress, insult fellow Americans based on who they choose to love? Really how is your life affected one way or the other by people you may never meet having the same opportunities at life,liberty, and happiness that you have?

      Feb 23, 2009 at 2:23 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • michael
      michael

      Mickey Rourke was good, good at playing himself. Sean played someone completely different than himself and having seen a lot of footage of Harvey Milk he really captured him. Sorry Michael W. but I think your one of those kind that if someone says black you say white without any real thought. Congrats to Sean and I think we are very lucky that such a good actor did such a good job with a role that is based on one of our most important gay leaders. If the film had of been shitty, or the performance, then I don’t think anyone on here would have expected the academy to give it an award for just being a gay movie that came out at the same time of proposition 8.

      Feb 23, 2009 at 2:38 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bruno
      Bruno

      Rourke’s character was way too nice to be considered playing himself :) I think both actors would have been deserving winners, but I’m happy to have gotten to hear Sean’s speech.

      Feb 23, 2009 at 2:47 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • javi
      javi

      there was anti gay picketers outside the kodak, just like in 05 with brokeback mountain.

      Feb 23, 2009 at 4:13 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John from  England(used to be just John but there are other John's)
      John from England(used to be just John but there are other John's)

      @RDM:

      Lol!

      Don’t be mean, Jack Black does work hard….come on…he was kinda funny in school of rock..?? I know he’s a little annoying and is always playing the same parts….

      Feb 23, 2009 at 5:19 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Forrest
      Forrest

      Black’s speech was very stirring and heartfelt. That aside the hard truth is that equal rights on the federal level are not coming soon. It’s going to take a very long time regardless of what political party has power.

      Feb 23, 2009 at 6:46 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John from  England(used to be just John but there are other John's)
      John from England(used to be just John but there are other John's)

      @Forrest:

      I don’t think any is naive enough to believe that but what has happened like Obama being the ‘first’ black pres (his mixed race whatevs) is visibility.

      That’s all.

      Feb 23, 2009 at 7:25 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sebbe
      Sebbe

      Black’s speech was incredible and genuine!!

      Congrats to Penn!!

      Aren’t politics & the oscars synonymous anyways? Winslet (who I thought should have won as well) has been advocating for her win quite apparently. Everything is politicking when it comes to the entertainment and media world.

      Feb 23, 2009 at 7:58 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mark
      Mark

      @Michael W.: Oh, please! Everyone knows that the Oscars are all about Politics!

      Why do you think that Science Fiction or Fantasy films are never nominated – and if they are – never win? Politics! The PTB don’t care about “low brow” SF & F – They want drama, politics and history.

      Except it for what it is – A nod to us (Queer community).

      Feb 23, 2009 at 8:14 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Forrest
      Forrest

      Heck, christian fundamentalists think Hollywood is the devil. They did not let their kids watch last night. Afraid the gay would seep out of the TV and infect them.

      Feb 23, 2009 at 8:27 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hardmannyc
      hardmannyc

      It was gracious to acknowledge Rourke, since he publicly dissed him, but ultimately Penn’s performance was as much imitation as acting. I’m of the more natural school; his performance was of the Meryl Streep Yale Drama School school.

      Feb 23, 2009 at 9:25 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Marc
      Marc

      Awesome show, awesome wins !!!!!!!!!

      Feb 23, 2009 at 9:37 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • donsnyc
      donsnyc

      Sean Penn deserved to win, Prop 8 or not. He deserved every inch of that statue. If Mickey Rourke had won, undoubtedly he gave an outstanding performance as well, it would be more of a welcome back award. For acting excellence, Sean Penn wins.

      Feb 23, 2009 at 10:00 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John from  England(used to be just John but there are other John's)
      John from England(used to be just John but there are other John's)

      @hardmannyc:

      Rourke erm…acted himself…why is THAT acting?

      Feb 23, 2009 at 10:07 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • kevin (not that one)
      kevin (not that one)

      @John from England(used to be just John but there are other John’s): Thank you!!!!

      The award is about ACTING. Sean Penn and the real Harvey Milk have zero in common in their personal lives. Everyone sitting in that room last night knew that the real lives of “The Wrestler” and Mickey Rourke were almost parallel in nature…so who’s acting and who’s just performing their own bio-pic?

      The award is for acting, and Sean Penn deserved it.

      Frankly, it is offensive for someone to claim Penn won it because of politics. That’s not only sour grapes and grossly ignorant, but for many it is at it’s root homophobia.

      Oh yeah…gay mafia and all that. The “power” of teh Gays.

      Feb 23, 2009 at 10:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Paul Raposo
      Paul Raposo

      Congratulations, Michael W. Now you know what it’s like to be attacked for stating your opinion–and the obvious–on Queerty. And I agree with what you wrote.

      Feb 23, 2009 at 11:25 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Paul Raposo
      Paul Raposo

      That said, I would have voted for Frost/Nixon. That was a damned good film and Frank Langella deserves to have his work recognized.

      Feb 23, 2009 at 11:31 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • kevin (not that one)
      kevin (not that one)

      @Paul Raposo: I think you have a persecution complex, Paul. No one is attacking anyone here, although I suspect no one is endeared to you and Michael’s parroting of what most of the right-wing homophobes are out there posting on the net regarding this win for Sean Penn.

      I haven’t seen any true criticism re: Penn’s win coming from you or Michael and have seen instead nothing but a repetition of the anti-gay filth that demonizes the LGBT community by claiming we have some sort of “fix” in at the Oscars…or that Penn couldn’t have won on his own because everyone feels sorry for the poor gays.

      Patronizing and demonizing crap. I don’t know if you or Michael are gay, or ex-gay, or self-hating gay or what…but I don’t care if you are the nelliest, mincing, biggest cock-gobbling queen on the planet: I recognize this attack on the LGBT community via Penn’s win when I see it.

      Feb 23, 2009 at 12:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Paul Raposo
      Paul Raposo

      I think you have a persecution complex, Paul.

      The only complex I have is stating the truth and occasionally having a differing opinion.

      No one is attacking anyone here,

      “I doubt you’ve even seen Milk.”

      “Just based on your post, I’d say, try to put yourself in someone elses shoes.”

      “Please join the rest of us in the reality-based community.”

      “You have a right to your opinion but it seems motivated by prejudice. Perhaps you should as Sean Penn said “reflect”on your choices.”

      I can’t speak for Mike W., but those seem like attacks on a poster’s opinion.

      although I suspect no one is endeared to you and Michael’s parroting of what most of the right-wing homophobes are out there posting on the net regarding this win for Sean Penn.

      So because two gay men disagree with the Acadamy Awards, we are right-wing homophobes?

      I haven’t seen any true criticism re: Penn’s win coming from you or Michael and have seen instead nothing but a repetition of the anti-gay filth that demonizes the LGBT community by claiming we have some sort of “fix” in at the Oscars that Penn couldn’t have won on his own because everyone feels sorry for the poor gays.

      Whom is feeling persecuated now, kevin? Michael never claimed a “fix” with regards to Penn’s win.

      I don’t know if you or Michael are gay, or ex-gay, or self-hating gay or what but I don’t care if you are the nelliest, mincing, biggest cock-gobbling queen on the planet: I recognize this attack on the LGBT community via Penn’s win when I see it.

      So now even gays who disagree with the Oscars–and you apparently–are out to get you?

      This award will be forgotten about tomorrow and guess what, kevin? We’ll be right back where we were yesterday. And no straight person in H’wood is gouing to lift a finger to help because they’ll be too busy polishing their Oscar awards

      Feb 23, 2009 at 12:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • GranDiva
      GranDiva

      @The Gay Numbers:
      A long, greasy, bleached to filth hair.

      Feb 23, 2009 at 12:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • kevin (not that one)
      kevin (not that one)

      @Paul Raposo: Opinion does not equal “truth”, Paul. You see, only people who earnestly believe they and they alone hold “the truth” are given to suffer from a persecution complex.

      Claiming that my saying “I doubt you’ve even seen Milk” is the same as “You are a lying liar who hasn’t seen Milk” is what I’m talking about. One is speculation, while the other is an attack.

      You SEEM to have trouble seperating the two.

      Next…

      Feb 23, 2009 at 1:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • strumpetwindsock
      strumpetwindsock

      @RDM:

      … speaking of which, was I ignoring it, or was Jack Black channelling Kristen Wiig channeling Nancy Pelosi with that staring/squinting stuff?

      Yes, I was torn, though I am pleased that Penn won. I really liked the new format of paying verbal tribute to each of the nominees. It’s a bit awkward, only be cause it is new, but it is a good way of honouring them all personally for the work they did to get nominated.

      Feb 23, 2009 at 1:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Paul Raposo
      Paul Raposo

      Opinion does not equal “truth”, Paul.

      When it’s given sincerely, yes it does.

      You see, only people who earnestly believe they and they alone hold “the truth” are given to suffer from a persecution complex.

      Kevin, when one is suffering from a persecution complex, they are convinced that something, someone, or possibly everything and everyone is out to get them. They also have a strong predisposition to interpret neutral or innocent events as personal attacks.

      So let’s see what you have written:

      Frankly, it is offensive for someone to claim Penn won it because of politics. That’s not only sour grapes and grossly ignorant, but for many it is at it’s root homophobia.

      …although I suspect no one is endeared to you and Michael’s parroting of what most of the right-wing homophobes are out there posting on the net regarding this win for Sean Penn.

      …and have seen instead nothing but a repetition of the anti-gay filth that demonizes the LGBT community by claiming we have some sort of “fix” in at the Oscars or that Penn couldn’t have won on his own because everyone feels sorry for the poor gays.

      Patronizing and demonizing crap. I don’t know if you or Michael are gay, or ex-gay, or self-hating gay or what but I don’t care if you are the nelliest, mincing, biggest cock-gobbling queen on the planet: I recognize this attack on the LGBT community via Penn’s win when I see it.

      I think you have an agenda to tear something down; I’m not sure what. But it’s getting tired.

      Do you see a pattern in your responses, kevin?

      Claiming that my saying “I doubt you’ve even seen Milk” is the same as “You are a lying liar who hasn’t seen Milk” is what I’m talking about. One is speculation, while the other is an attack.

      You state no one is attacking Michael W., or myself. I gave you prime examples of those attacks. That you try to use semantics to twist your way out of your words says more about you, thanit does about my reply, kevin.

      You SEEM to have trouble seperating the two.

      And you seem to have trouble allowing others to have differing opinions. Who’s acting like a right-winger now, kevin?

      Next

      Indeed

      Feb 23, 2009 at 2:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John from  England(used to be just John but there are other John's)
      John from England(used to be just John but there are other John's)

      @Paul Raposo:

      It WON’T be forgotten.

      If you think that, you have no concept or understanding of the mechanics of running a campaign..be it marketing, political or in this instance….a visibility gay rights campaign for equality for LGTB people..

      EVERY thing counts!

      Come on, we’re in 2009..don’t be so short sighted!

      Feb 23, 2009 at 2:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John from  England(used to be just John but there are other John's)
      John from England(used to be just John but there are other John's)

      @kevin (not that one):

      Yeah I agree.

      Which is why I pointed out that Rourke wasn’t really acting….he was playing himself…and Penn streched himself..

      But whoever said Frank in Nixon movie…I agree…

      Feb 23, 2009 at 2:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ben
      Ben

      @Paul Raposo: Ooh harsh attacks there. Sean Penn had the bigger stretch as an actor, therefore he won. jeebus you are a sourpuss.

      Feb 23, 2009 at 3:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • GranDiva
      GranDiva

      @ConservativeRepublican:
      That sounds like any of us had a vote. Not so much.

      Feb 23, 2009 at 3:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Paul Raposo
      Paul Raposo

      It WON’T be forgotten.

      That’s what everyone said after Brokeback Mountain. ENDA was suppose to pass; DOMA was suppose to fall; DADTDP was suppose to disappear. And yet, here we are today. We’re trendy right now, but trends and fads pass and so will H’wood’s interest in out equality.

      Feb 23, 2009 at 4:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John from  England(used to be just John but there are other John's)
      John from England(used to be just John but there are other John's)

      @Paul Raposo:

      Well, we’re on the same side. We both want equality for Gays.

      So, lets wait and see?

      All good.

      Feb 23, 2009 at 4:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ConservativeRepublican
      ConservativeRepublican

      @John from England(used to be just John but there are other John’s):

      “Well, we’re on the same side. We both want equality for Gays.”

      And that’s the most important part. We’re all in this together.

      Feb 23, 2009 at 4:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Paul Raposo
      Paul Raposo

      Well, we’re on the same side. We both want equality for Gays.

      Yes.

      So, lets wait and see?

      I just hope everyone doesn’t get their hopes up, all for nothing.

      All good.

      Of course.

      Feb 23, 2009 at 4:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • HYHYBT
      HYHYBT

      How about high hopes but low expectations? And what’s the “DP” for stuck on the back of “DADT”?

      Feb 24, 2009 at 3:44 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Paul Raposo
      Paul Raposo

      And what’s the “DP” for stuck on the back of “DADT”?

      I know what you’re thinking, but it actually means “Don’t Pursue”.

      Feb 24, 2009 at 9:39 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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