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Vanity Fair, NY Times Profile Penn

Posted February 09, 2009

Sean Penn in the New York Times Magazine

Sean Penn in the New
York Times Magazine

As the Oscars near, magazines prepare their various Oscar editions, producing beautiful photographs and thoughtful pieces about the various contenders.  Among the most famous is the yearly photo spread in Vanity Fair. This year Gus Van Sant and Sean Penn show up in a gorgeous photo ny Annie Leibovitz The theme for this year is collaboration and partnership. Of Penn and Van Sant, Krista Smith writes: “Together, Penn and Van Sant have pulled off a neat trick. They’ve taken on two very tired genres—the biopic and the triumphant tale of a ragtag band of outsiders—and gently subverted them, with fantastic results.”

The New York Times Magazine has added a gorgeous profile on Sean Penn. Paolo Pellegrin shoots Sean Penn at his home. (In addition, there is a series of slide shows, including on on Penn.) Novelist Jane Smiley delivers a tender remembrance of her experience of the actor. For Milk, she writes:

I think the key to Penn’s portrayal of Harvey Milk is his comic timing. If dying is hard and comedy is harder, then Penn gives Harvey the energy and quickness of a comic performance. His pacing is superb, and his movements — walking, running, talking — have buoyancy, even effervescence, that contrasts with the dramatic gravity of everyone else in the movie.