After compiling a list of the most essential LGBT movies, The Advocate is pitting the top 32 entries against one another in a series of one-on-one face-offs. In this round, the acclaimed biopic Capote, starring the late Seymour Hoffman as the iconic gay writer, is up against Milk, another esteemed biopic that portrays the life and times of one of the LGBT's rights movement's greatest heroes. Which film is more essential? Vote below, and check out our full list of the top 175 most essential LGBT movies at Advocate.com/top175.
This film about the life and death of pioneering gay politician Harvey Milk won two richly deserved Oscars, for Dustin Lance Black's screenplay and Sean Penn's performance in the title role. It does not make Milk a plaster saint, but portrays him as fully and fallibly human as well as a formidable crusader for the rights of all. Directed by Gus Van Sant, it's a film that moves and inspires, while assuring that a new generation will know an important figure in our history. —Trudy Ring
The late Philip Seymour Hoffman handily won the Academy Award for his portrayal of the literary world’s enfant terrible Truman Capote in the 2005 biopic. The film shines a light on Capote’s life just as he was beginning research on his true-crime masterpiece In Cold Blood, about the 1959 Clutter family murders in Kansas. Director Bennett Miller’s movie focused on Capote’s unhealthy attachment to one of the killers, Perry Smith (Clifton Collins Jr.), whom Capote visited in prison. The supporting cast includes a pitch-perfect Catherine Keener as Capote’s dear friend, To Kill a Mockingbird author Harper Lee. Chris Cooper, Bruce Greenwood, Amy Ryan, Mark Pellegrino, and Bob Balaban round out the superb cast. While Hoffman was physically much larger than Capote, he nailed the role of a lifetime, imbuing him with complicated pathos as a writer who obliterated boundaries for his story. —Tracy E. Gilchrist
— The Advocate (@TheAdvocateMag) June 24, 2014