And the winner is…
From Milk, I learned a lot about San Francisco history and the gay movement. Sean Penn was fantastic as Harvey Milk. I also realized that as much as I support gay rights, I have an uncontrollable aversion to watching men kissing other men. That insight has made me more interested in seeing whether such unconscious acts of discrimination translate into more meaningful decisions, like at the ballot box or for hiring decisions.
From Gran Torino, I learned an interesting lesson about violence, life and death. Clint Eastwood is fantastic. The movie moves along slowly, which is obviously intentional but almost had me giving up before the end. But that would have been a mistake, because the ending is terrific.
But my hands down pick is Slumdog Millionaire. It’s the best movie I have seen in years. Gripping story. Incredibly cinematography. Tremendous climax. (Here’s an interesting post about the ending for people who have already seen the movie.) As I saw on someone’s Facebook status update, “Slumdog Millionaire lives up to the hype. Great movie.” And my clear favorite for Best Picture of the Year.