“For the first time in my memory, we have a major Oscar movie that actually is a gay-agenda movie,” MCN’s David Poland briefly wrote last night. “But on the making, it is so much more. It is a brilliant, powerfully humane piece of work that reaches well beyond the issue of gay rights or any idea that this is a gay-only film.

Sean Penn gives an Oscar lock performance of power and subtlety that ranks with the best of his career. Great work by James Franco and Emile Hirsch. Josh Brolin may not have enough screen time or empathy for awards, but got the mixed emotions of a murderer so right that I felt my blood go cold watching a shot of him walking a fateful hallway.

“And the mixture of doc footage and this drama is amazing, pushing the bar farther and racking up another great piece by Harris Savides.”