This drama charts the life of a black gay youth named Chiron as he grows up in a rough neighborhood in Miami. In the first segment, Chiron is a ten-year-old nicknamed "Little" (Alex Hibbert) who is taken in by a kindhearted Cuban drug dealer (Mahershala Ali) and his girlfriend (Janelle Monáe). In the middle installment, a teenage Chiron (Ashton Sanders) explores his sexuality as he falls in love with a close friend. The final chapter follows Chiron in his twenties (Trevante Rhodes) as he reconnects with faces from his past. Directed by Barry Jenkins, Moonlight was adapted from a short play called In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue by Tarell Alvin McCraney.~Jack Rodgers
Audio Commentary with Director Barry Jenkins
Cruel Beauty: Filming in Miami
Ensemble of Emotion: The Making of Moonlight
Poetry Through Collaboration: The Music of Moonlight
Moonlight is the type of movie you watch to think. It presents ideas many movies have not nailed until this one. Moonlight is a patient movie, the viewer may not understand something until one line of dialogue is said that makes the whole movie be views different. But enough of the philosophical stuff, the movie really is a masterpiece. The performances are outstanding. These are not well known actors or big blockbuster actors, they are actually acting their hearts out and giving a genuine and emotional performance. It's visually stunning too. The cinematography makes packs every frame with so much emotion, you can stop the movie at any moment and the picture layed on your screen will look like a painting filled with thought and care. Even the script flows well along with everything and that is due to the outstanding direction. Overall Moonlight is the best movie of the year and deserves to be studied by any aspiring filmmaker.
Moonlight is one of those films that anytime your mind tends to float back to it inevitable feelings of great sympathy and understanding come with it. It is a film that both simply and oh so complexly transcends all barriers of politics and beliefs and presents a bare bones human story that just so happens to deal with being black and being gay. It's always been clear, especially from the outside looking in, that the culture that forms young black men is one of the most high-pressure environments for one to be tough, hard, or essentially show little to no feeling at all. "Toxic masculinity" as it has been labeled in recent writings. There has long existed the stigma that to be hard or worthy of being a man one must be largely indifferent to those things that naturally give us weaknesses in the world. By tackling this idea and how it affects the growth and development of one underprivileged youth is at one time to present exactly what it promises while at another-painting a much broader picture of this toxicity that has been constructed by society for which many young men are led to believe there are certain actions that have to be taken or certain attitudes that must be adopted in order to make them worthy of being a man. This doesn't have to necessarily deal with being gay or straight, but more this condition is about those stereotypes of men-emotionless, dominant, violent-that society has relayed to determine certain levels of masculinity. That Moonlight addresses such expectations and the baggage and torture such expectations can carry when not met in the judgmental environments of the projects or of high school or even of one's mother who knows the essence of her son, but isn't strong enough herself to stand up to such stigma's thus leaving that child for the wolves of the world is powerful enough. That Moonlight is able to explore these largely ignored aspects of manhood in such poetic and provocative ways as through the lens of a young man growing up black, poor, and gay only makes these points that much more enlightening and subsequently-that much more powerful. Moonlight is a film that, anytime you think about, are reminded of, or even consider the ground it covers and the essence of what it embodies not only in its ideas and themes, but in its nearly flawless execution inevitable feelings of great sympathy and understanding come flooding back as well. More than anything, writer/director Barry Jenkins understands the human element at the core of these issues and by parlaying as much through the single perspective of Chiron at three different stages of his life we are delivered a fleshed out portrait of the true internal tendencies versus the ideals we're taught we should become.
This is the little art film that pulled the big Oscar surprise, winning the Best Picture award in one of the strangest finales in Academy Awards history. If you didn't see the film in theaters, you probably aren't alone. This isn't the kind of film fare that makes it to the shopping mall cineplexes in Anytown, USA. Seeing it on DVD is likely the way to go for anybody interested in what the buzz was about, and the blu ray transfer is quite good, as you might expect, capturing the sights and sounds of those parts of Miami tourists usually never see. The film tells the story of Chiron, a withdrawn and bullied young boy trying to figure out life in his neighborhood and his own confusing feelings. His mother is a junkie, his best friend might be his worst enemy, and the only person who pays attention to him is the local drug dealer (played by Mahershala Ali in his Oscar winning supporting role). The film remains true to Chiron's story, well-played by three different actors, and doesn't resort to the crime melodramatics that the material otherwise suggests. Give credit to writer-director Barry Jenkins for delivering a film of surprising emotional depth. Did it deserve the Oscar for Best Picture over its competition? That's for you to decide, but "Moonlight" is definitely worth watching.
Moonlight is a 2016 American film directed by Barry Jenkins. The coming-of-age drama is written by Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney and is adapted from McCraney's unpublished semi-autobiographical play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue. It stars Trevante Rhodes, André Holland, Janelle Monáe, Ashton Sanders, Naomie Harris, Mahershala Ali, and Alex Hibbert.
The film presents three stages in the life of the main character. It explores the difficulties he faces with his own sexuality and identity, including the physical and emotional abuse he receives as a result of it. Filmed in Miami, Florida, beginning in 2015, Moonlight premiered at the Telluride Film Festival on September 2, 2016. Distributed by A24, the film was released in the United States on October 21, 2016, and has grossed $50 million worldwide.
A large majority of films constantly depict blacks as the drug dealers and hood mercenaries that shoot first and don't even bother with questions. This is that same film, however it comes with a twist. It helps humanize the people that we are taught through mainstream media as monsters, and teaches us again that these "monsters" are actual real people that do have souls and hearts. In a time where blacks have to picket to remind people that they are human, and in fact, their lives matter too; this movie helps to deliver that message in a different way.
Definitely a must see. It's one of those American History X type films that will open your eyes to the world. And it won and was nominated for some academy awards to boot!
This movie is a spectacular piece of art! It paints such a raw and real picture of life and the challenges of being a Queer POC growing up in an underprivileged area. The cinematography is gorgeous as well as the soundscape! It is a tough one to watch at times but it amazes me how they could capture the beauty, strength and tenderness of the characters. It also is comprised of an incredible cast and crew. Looking forward to the directors next piece!
While i agree with the Academy on their nomination of this film and it truly deserves all the credit and praise heaped upon it, I found something oddly missing in the film. I sadly miss say I don't understand Mahershala Ali's Best Supporting Actor win for this role as he is in the movie for only about 15 to 20 minutes total and that is early in the film and then I spent the balance (about 1 1/2 hrs) of the film waiting for his return into this young man's life.
While I enjoyed the movie and highly recommend it, I think both "Fences" and "Hidden Figures" are superior films with more experienced actors who gave more endearing and enduring portraits of their characters.