Josh Brolin, Sean Penn, Milk

Danny Nicoletta/Focus Features

Somewhere up there in the pink clouds of heaven, Harvey Milk is poppin' open a bottle of champagne.

Gus Van Sant's Milk snagged eight Oscar nominations this morning.

"I think Harvey would be so happy," Bruce Cohen, who produced the biopic with Dan Jinks, told me earlier today. "Stuart Milk—Harvey's nephew, who is very active politically in San Francisco and openly gayemailed us this morning to say he thinks that Harvey and all the Milk family members up there are just beaming."

The nominations should help the cast and crew of Milk forget about this year's Golden Globes.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association's only nomination for Milk went to Sean Penn for best actor in the drama category (he lost to The Wrestler's comeback kid, Mickey Rourke).

But the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences saw things differently. Not only is the flick up for top picture honors, but nominations were doled out for Van Sant, Penn, Josh Brolin and screenwriter Dustin Lance Black along with those for costume design, original score and editing.

"I think there's something about Harvey Milk's story that just touches people," Jinks said. "It's the story of an ordinary guy who ended up doing something quite extraordinary. There's something quite universal about it."

The Oscar attention also means more eyes on the movie. Expect to see the flick popping up in a lot more theaters in the next coming weeks. Hopefully that also will include a screening at the new, much more gay-friendly White House.

Asked if there are plans underway for a movie night with the Obamas, Cohen said, "We would love one of those. That's all we will the moment."

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