January 22nd, 2009 5:33 pm | by AARON MESH News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, CLEAN UP, CLEAN UP, CLEAN UP

Milk Recruits Oscar: 8 Nominations for Gus Vant Sant's Film

Tags: gay

So it's not been the greatest week for for Portland's first gay mayor. But this morning Hollywood had a far kinder reaction to another groundbreaking gay politician. (You know, the one from San Francisco, who also enjoyed the company of younger boyfriends but didn't lie about it.)

Gus Van Sant's Milk was nominated for eight Academy Awards this morning, including Best Picture, Best Director (Portland's own Gus Van Sant) Best Actor (Sean Penn) Best Supporting Actor (Josh Brolin) and Best Original Screenplay (Dustin Lance Black). Not as many as nomination leader The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, but still a respectable haul for a movie that wasn't completely annoying.

The Oscars will be held at 5:30 pm Sunday, Feb. 22. It says here that Milk, having now destroyed Wendy and Lucy in their awards deathmatch (no nominations for Kelly Reichardt's film), will clean Benjamin Button's clock. Bring it, Forrest Gump 2!

UPDATE (12:06 pm): The New York Times has reactions from Van Sant and Black. Gus don't give no shit about Oscar (hey, dude's got a Sam Adams support rally to attend):
Gus Van Sant, nominated for his direction of “Milk,” struck the cool I-didn't-realize-nominations-were-this-morning pose. “I wasn't that attuned to the thing,” he said in a telephone interview. “My reactions don't bend to the gameshow style of screaming and jumping up and down.”

His fellow nominee for “Milk,” Dustin Lance Black, singled out for his original screenplay, was not quite so put together. “The tears started when I saw that Gus was nominated and the meltdown built from there,” he said. “I'm just so grateful and hopeful this will get the movie's message out to a wider audience.” Mr. Black, 34 years old, said he was pacing at home alone, waiting for the local news to report the nominations.
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