This film tells the story of a young black man living in a rough neighborhood in Miami. Through the years he is learning to find himself and his place in the world.
Director: Barry Jenkins
Cast: Trevante Rhodes, Andre Holland, Janelle Monae, Naomie Harris, Mahershala Ali
MPAA Rating: R for some sexuality, drug use, brief violence, and language throughout
Fun Fact: Mahershala Ali is the first person to win an Academy Award that practices the Muslim faith.
Moonlight won Best Picture at the Academy Awards for the year of 2016. You probably saw or heard about the snafu that happened but, that is beside the point. I always have an interest in seeing the Best Picture winner as it always seems like it pays off and deserves the award. Now does Moonlight deserve to be a Best Picture winner?
This film is simply amazing. Everyone that worked on it gave it their all and it really shows. Barry Jenkins wrote the script (based off a story by Tarrell Alvin McCraney, who also was a producer) and directed the film so he had a lot of control in what he wanted to present. The film is split into three acts going from youth to adulthood and it’s a fantastic way to present the story. Every act gets enough time to tell the story and nothing is rushed to get a point across. My favorite parts of the film especially early in the film are the ones that have no dialogue between the characters. It brings a raw emotion and realism to it that you rarely see in films. It will really get you invested in the characters more as the film goes on. I don’t want to spoil anything but, at the end of each act of the film it gets you thinking about the whole segment and you start to think and question about what happened to certain characters.
Speaking of characters, you get some tremendous performances out of the actors. All the actors who played Chiron were perfect choices. Jenkins didn’t have any of them meet so he could get the performances that he wanted out of them. Naomie Harris was a great choice to play Chiron’s mother Paula. Harris was hesitant at first with the role but, she pulled it off perfectly. Mahershala Ali deserved his Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role as Juan. Again, I don’t want to spoil anything but, he played the role perfectly that I felt bad for his character at the end of the first act.
Another thing that makes Moonlight the film that it is, is the technical aspect of it. The cinematography is outstanding with all the different shots used. There is different point of views, sweeping shots, wide shots, and close ups that are all shot masterfully. James Laxton was nominated for his work at the Oscar’s and he deserved it. With this footage, it’s edited masterfully. With this work, the film flows beautifully and it isn’t a mess in any way.
Overall Moonlight is a masterpiece of a film. It has amazing direction, acting, cinematography, and editing. You can tell everyone that was working on it gave it their all and it shows. It deserves every award and nomination that it received and I hope if you haven’t seen it, I really hope you check it out.