Sean Penn, James Franco and Josh Brolin ‘Milk’ It

Setting aside his international diplomacy for a moment, Sean Penn turned up at the  Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Beverly Hills Thursday night for the Los Angeles premiere of Milk, along with castmates James Franco and Josh Brolin.

The Gus Van Sant-directed movie tells the story of gay activist and San Francisco supervisor Harvey Milk (Penn).  Harvey Milk was slain, along with San Francisco mayor George Moscone (portrayed by Victor Garber), by fellow supervisor Dan White (Brolin).

Franco plays Scott Smith, one of Milk’s boyfriends.  Franco shares an onscreen kiss with Penn in the film, which had its San Francisco premiere on October 28.

So far, Milk has garnered overwhelmingly positive reviews. The Hollywood Reporter calls it “a very human document that touches first and foremost on the need to give people hope.”

Portraying real-life government officials seems to be a trend for Brolin lately (at least when he’s not getting into bar brawls). Earlier this year the actor portrayed President George W. Bush in Oliver Stone’s biopic W.