Awards season is fully upon us, with major film critics, societies and foundations naming their favorite films and performances of 2008 and singling out recipients of various awards and special mentions.
Unsurprisingly, Gus Van Sant’s Harvey Milk biopic, Milk, has been popping up all over the place thanks to its strong script and performances and philanthropic message of hope and equality for all. This week the Producers Guild of America granted the film the Stanley Kramer Award, a recognition granted every year to a film that "dramatically illuminates provocative social issues". (Milk star Sean Penn‘s 2002 i am sam also received the award, as have Antoine Fisher, The Great Debaters, In America, and others.)
Many cinephiles consider the annual National Board of Review Awards to be the tickly-throated first symptom of a full-fledged awards fever, and on December 1 they named Milk among their top ten films of the year (giving the coveted top slot to the excellent Slumdog Millionaire). They also named Josh Brolin Best Supporting Actor for his performance as Milk’s assassin, Dan White. Meanwhile, the Critics’ Choice Awards have nominated Milk in every major category except for lead and supporting actress … because … well, there really are none.
Milk has also been popping up on Top Ten lists across the country. The New Yorker‘s David Denby, Time‘s Richard Corliss, The Chicago Sun-Times‘ Roger Ebert, and The New York Post‘s Lou Lemenick all ranked Milk high in their annual top tens (or top twenty, in Ebert’s case), most within the top five. And as previously reported, Gus Van Sant was granted a special award by the Gotham Independent Film Awards for his contributions to independent film and the film has been nominated for three Spirit Awards.
More to come, we’re sure! The Golden Globe noms are announced Thursday morning, and we’ll be here to let you know if Milk scores any nods (we’re guessing it will).