Oscar winning actor of Milk,Sean Penn, has backed out of two films this week in order to spend more time with his family. Penn has rescinded divorce proceeding with his actress wife, Robin Wright Penn, for the second time. He was set to play Larry in the Stooges alongside Jim Carrey as Curly and Benicio del Toro as Moe. Penn also dropped out of Cartel, which follows the story of a man who protects his son after his wife is murdered by Mexican drug cartels.
The Best Actress nominations were presented by Sophia Loren, Shirley Mclain, Hale Berry, Nicole Kidman and Marion Cotillard and was presented to Kate Winslet for “The Reader.” “That fainting thing Penelope. I’d be lying if I hadn’t made a version of this speech in the bathroom and this would have been a shampoo bottle. Well it’s not a shampoo bottle now. I think we all can’t believe we’re in a category with Meryl Streep at all. I’m sorry Meryl but you have to just suck that up.”
The Best Actor award was presented by Adrian Brody, Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Sir Ben Kingsley. De Niro said of Sean Penn, “Tonight it’s great to be an actor, in life it’s great to be good human being and that is Sean Penn.” And it was Penn who won for his performance in “Milk.”“You comy homo sons of guns. I know how hard I make it to appreciate me.For those who saw the signs of hatred outside, to those people there is great shame in their grandchildrens eyes. We’ve got to have equel rights for everyone. And one last thing, Mickey Rourke rises again and he’s my brother.”
The Best Picture award was presented by Steven Spielberg and went to Christian Colson for Slumdog Millionaire.
Steve Martin and Tina Fey introduced the nominees for the Best Original Screenplay and read the nominees in script form in what was probably the best intro to nominees in Oscar history.
Original Screenplay winner Dustin Lance Black made a forceful acceptance speech for his win for
“Milk”. Speaking to a gay audience he said, “I want to 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.”
Adapted Screenplay winner, Simon Beaufoy for Slumdog Millionaire, “There are certain places in the universe you never imagine standing. For me it’s the moon, the South Pole, the Miss World podium and here.”
Milk is the much anticipated new movie from auteur Gus Van Sant and chronicles the assasination of charismatic Harvey Milk in 1978. Milk was the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California. His legacy is still apparent in San Francisco today where Milk is still a hero of the Bay Area.
On November 27 1978, Milk and Mayor George Moscone were shot and killed by another city supervisor, Dan White. White had recently resigned from his position and wanted his job back and blamed his former colleagues for denying his attempt to rescind his resignation from the board. White was convicted of voluntary manslaughter after using the infamous “Twinkie Defense,” sighting his addiction to sugary foods as a factor of his depression and subsequently a cause of his diminished responsibility in the deaths of these two men. White served just five years in jail and was released in January 1984. He committed suicide the following October 1985.