Moonlight has been praised and critiqued by various people across the world and ultimately, it took home the Oscar for Best Movie. Many were surprised as Moonlight is not some huge production that usually attracts the eyes and minds of the Academy folks. So, as you can imagine, we recommend watching it if you haven't already. The story of Little-Chiron is nicely pieced together throughout years and years of family and personal drama.
"Stories of LGBT people of colour have been largely ignored in film or at least relegated to the sidelines while instead, we’re offered up the whitewashed history of Roland Emmerich’s tone deaf Stonewall or straight-friendly Oscarbait like The Danish Girl. But, in a festival season that’s too often populated by quite literally vanilla awards fare, writer/director Barry Jenkins’ astonishing new film is both proudly black and refreshingly queer. It’s a thrilling, deeply necessary work that opens up a much-needed and rarely approached on-screen conversation about the nature of gay masculinity.
Based on the play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue by Tarell Alvin McCraney, the film follows the life of a man in three key stages. Initially, we meet nine-year-old Chiron as he runs through the streets of Miami, chased by his peers. He attracts the attention of local drug dealer Jean (Mahershala Ali) who comes to his aid and with the help of his girlfriend Teresa (Janelle Monae), he gets him to open up as they take care of him at their home. It becomes a refuge for him, away from his mother Paula (Naomie Harris, giving her best performance since 28 Days Later), a nurse with a crack addiction, who alternates between overbearing affection and cruel neglect." (The Guardian)
Check out the Moonlight trailer below:
"Moonlight” undoes our expectations as viewers, and as human beings, too. As we watch, another movie plays in our minds, real-life footage of the many forms of damage done to black men, which can sometimes lead them to turn that hateful madness on their own kind, passing on the poison that was their inheritance. As Juan squires his fatherless friend about, we can’t help thinking, Will he abuse him? Will it happen now? Jenkins keeps the fear but not the melodrama in his film. He builds his scenes slowly, without trite dialogue or explosions. He respects our intelligence enough to let us just sit still and watch the glorious faces of his characters as they move through time. Scene follows scene with the kind of purposefulness you find in fairy tales, or in those Dickens novels about boys made and unmade by fate." (The New Yorker)
"It's impossible to pinpoint exactly how Barry Jenkins's Moonlight gets inside your head and makes you see the world with new eyes. But it does – and then it owns you. This is a game-changer, the kind of movie that defies glib categorization. Reduced to tweet size, it's about the experience of growing up black, gay and alienated in the Miami projects. Jenkins, adapting Tarell Alvin McCraney's play In the Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue, locks focus on one boy through three stages of his life – as a nine-year-old, a teenager, and an adult. Three stellar actors take us on this journey into the core of self-awareness. Each one will break your heart." (The Rolling Stones)
"In short, Moonlight demands to be seen, even though the film is about a man who desperately wants to keep the audience at arm’s length. Inspired by the play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue by Tarell Alvin McCraney, Jenkins’s movie is a meditation on growing up, and the ways we all try to prevent ourselves from standing out or getting hurt. There’s insight to Moonlight that should pierce viewers to their core, even if Chiron’s life is very different from their own. This is not an “issue” film that’s mainly “about” race or sexuality; this is a humane movie, one that’s looking to prompt empathy and introspection most of all. On those terms alone, Moonlight is one of the year’s most gripping viewing experiences. [...] There is tragedy at the heart of Moonlight, and the film is not an easy watch at times, partly because it delves so deeply into its protagonist’s haunted psyche." (Atlantic)
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