Milk, easily one of the best films of the year, tells the story of gay people fighting for the exact same civil rights that the blacks fought for just one decade earlier. It doesn’t matter where you stand on Proposition 8 or same-sex marriage: Milk is made for anyone who values equality.

Harvey Milk was the first openly gay man elected to major office in the United States. It took him several years to be elected, but when he was, he started the revolution that asked gays to come out of the closet and stand up for equality. History tells the rest of the story from there.

Director Gus Van Sant left his unconventional storytelling ways and returned to his Good Will Hunting style for Milk. With his beautiful direction and natural way of telling the story, combined with brilliant acting from Sean Penn (as Harvey Milk), Emile Hirsch, Josh Brolin, James Franco and a nearly unknown brilliant cast of no-names, Milk powerfully secures a designation I rarely offer: perfect.

No matter how good Milk is, a sizeable group of ignorant people will refuse to see it simply because of the recent controversy surrounding Proposition 8, gay characters and the arguable stand on gay rights. You can be for or against it, but there’s no denying that Milk is a one-of-a-kind beautiful film that you won’t soon forget.