Milk Gets 8 Oscar Nominations

seanpenn-harveymilk-flmThe Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences drinks your Milkshake all up as it announced eight nominations today for the Harvey Milk biopic, making it a heavyweight contender to actually win an award, which we’ll find out next month. Who got nominated? And what major Hollywood actor (and lunatic) turned down a role in the film? Find out after the jump.

And the categories are (insert drum roll here)

  • Best Motion Picture of the Year
  • Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role – Sean Penn
  • Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role – Josh Brolin
  • Achievement in Directing – Gus Van Sant
  • Best Original Screenplay – Dustin Lance Black
  • Achievement in Costume Design– Danny Glicker
  • Achievement in Film Editing – Elliot Graham
  • Best Orignal Score – Danny Elfman

With Brolin getting a nomination, you have to wonder if Tom Cruise is kicking himself for turning down the role of homophobic City Supervisor Dan White. Director Gus Van Sant’s original plan was for Cruise to play the role:

“I thought if I connected those two guys (Cruise and Penn) at the time I could go into the studio and say, ”Look, I have these two guys’ and they would do it. There was always the problem with the gay community aspect of the film so they needed a reason to overcome that fear that they had of making a film that wasn’t going to have a very big return money wise, so that was my plan.”

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  • David Ezell

    As I said a month ago in my blog, playing gay is the new retarded. If an actor who is decidedly heterosexual makes the brave choice to kiss another dude, he is set for a nomination, if not the big prize.

  • TylerOakley

    @ David Ezell: Sad… but true… if only gay actors got as much attention for playing straight characters! Ha!

    All joking aside, I’m glad Milk is being recognized as a great film, not just another gay movie. It has substance and it changed how I view the movement.

  • Landon Bryce

    It’s exciting to see that Milk got the big nominations. I’m disappointed that Brolin was nominated and that neither James Franco nor Emile Hirsch were. I think were both much more interesting and subtle in the movie than Brolin was. Of course, Brolin is getting a career nom to some extent.

  • David Ezell

    @TylerOakley: I agree Tyler but sadly that can’t happen as long as gay actors are penalized and ghettoized for coming out. The film industry is packed with queers and ironically one of the most homophobic of industries. Until we stop hating ourselves, how can we expect others to?

  • FDN

    @Landon Bryce:

    Totally…I am totally happy it won as many as it did, and wont piss on the Milk Parade of Nomineees we do have, but leaving out Hirsch and/or Franco is a shame.

    The thing I’m most excited/intrigued about…Editing nom…that movie was cut to perfection. Oscar trivia is if it wins in editing, it will take home the picture nod.

  • Leland Frances

    One of the many reasons it needs to win in the major categories is this:

    According to, after two months in release, its domestic box office total is only $20,591,008. [Box office figures outside the US are not all in yet, but so far it’s at a little over a million.]

    Production cost: $20 million.

    By contrast, after two months in release, “Brokeback Mountain” had brought in $52.5 million on a $14 million budget.

    Worldwide BBM box office total: at least $178 million, with DVD sales in the US of at least $31 million.

  • Andy P.

    I would have bought Cruise in the White role more than I buy him playing a one-eyed Nazi.

  • Bruno

    Maybe it’ll win editing or score. Rourke’s probably gonna get Actor. Slumdog should have Picture wrapped up. The only major one I could see it getting might be Director, as a lifetime achievement award for Gus.

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