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Sean Penn, Dustin
Lance Black Among Eight Nominations for Milk

Sean Penn, Dustin
Lance Black Among Eight Nominations for Milk


Despite a near-shutout at the Golden Globes, Milk scored eight Oscar nominations Thursday, including Best Actor for Sean Penn and Best Original Screenplay for Dustin Lance Black.

Despite garnering only one nomination at the Golden Globes, Milk swept up eight nominations for the upcoming Academy Awards. Milk will go up against several other films in categories including Best Picture, Best Actor in leading and supporting roles for Sean Penn and Josh Brolin, and Best Director for Gus Van Sant.

Dustin Lance Black, who was selected as one of Outmagazine's Out 100 and one of The Advocate's People of the Year for 2008, scored his first nomination, for Best Original Screenplay. In past interviews Black has credited learning about Milk with helping him to come out.

Milk tells the story of the rise and unfortunate death of LGBT rights pioneer and San Francisco politician Harvey Milk.

The film took on a deeper meaning upon its release. On the heels of the passing of Prop. 8 in California, gay audiences turned to the film as a source of inspiration to keep the fight for equality alive.

"Today's Best Actor nomination for Sean Penn is so richly deserved," Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation president Neil Giuliano said in a statement. "His groundbreaking performance gave audiences the opportunity to get to know Harvey Milk's conviction, passion, and the indelible influence he had on our movement and our community." (

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