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  • Moonlight is one of the most beautiful and heart-wrenching films that I have ever seen. Many users are expressing disdain or presumed it to be dull. Yet, to see it as such misses the whole point of the film. Moonlight wasn't intended to overtly wow us or give us knowledge about something we didn't already know. Rather the film allowed us to enter and follow a life that I'm sure many have never considered living. Yes, we know some about poverty, queerness, masculinity, and Blackness individually, but to see the conflict of it all so succinctly woven together allowed the complexity of some folks lives to be seen in an unadulterated way. Moonlight wasn't supposed to give us some grandiose finale or even answers, but simply present a narrative that we often don't see. And that's what makes it so simple, painful, yet outstandingly beautiful.

    It's also important to remember that just because you don't understand something, that doesn't mean it is unimportant or invalid. Just because you can't relate to the entire story doesn't mean pieces of it can't teach you something about life. Just because the narrative is one that isn't widely told, doesn't mean it should be disregarded. If you don't understand this film or find it a waste, look deep inside yourself and ask why.

    10/10 would recommend.
  • I've seen a lot of movies lately, mostly because we've had a series of amazing releases but Moonlight affected me deeply on a personal level like very few managed to do in the past few years.

    Having seen the trailer only once and knowing the brilliant cast – Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris, Janelle Monae – I was sure this one would be a hit. And ten minutes into it I had already gotten a handful of tissues out, like the rest of the audience in the theater and was silently wiping my tears while the actors gave a stellar performance.

    First of all, I was ecstatic to see that Moonlight featured an all black cast. From behind the camera, to the leads, down to the last extra, kudos and please can we have more already? Second of all, Moonlight showed that a movie can talk about queerness in the black community and turn it into art and present it with dignity and beauty and capture the essence of being a black gay man, the masculinity and actually show the struggles, it went to places a few movies would dare to go and it spoke to me; I know for a fact a lot of people walked out of the cinema more accepting and open-minded. I had a 70-year-old grandpa sitting next to me, weeping and crying like a child, I have never felt more connected with the people I'm randomly watching a movie with.

    I can't talk about Moonlight enough, the cinematography was exquisite and the directing was epic, the editing just brilliant. I could almost feel the sunlight through the screen and the humidity in the air. The camera takes you with the people and it captures emotion and feelings like you are there, somehow managing to peak into their lives.

    Despite the fact that the movie goes from decade to decade, childhood, young adult and grown man, you never feel any gaps in the story. Sure through the years there are noticeable differences and happenings we don't know about – and never really get answers to – but this is Chiron's story and unlike books, people don't go about their life everyday talking about the past, or recalling life altering events. We get three major turning points in Chiron's life, presented beautifully and with a painful honesty. The ending left me gasping and a mess, I was happy and full of emotions and love and I still remember scenes from the movie and my heart breaks for Little and at the same time I feel happy for Black and I want to protect Chiron.

    Moonlight is everything a movie should be and more; an example of how things can and should be portrayed and it all comes with brilliant performances and incredible directing. If there's only one movie you'll watch this year, it's Moonlight. This is why representation matters and why we need more of it. Take everyone with you, recommend it to as many people as you can, never stop talking about it.
  • jtindahouse22 February 2017
    Warning: Spoilers
    With all the controversy back in 2016 over the #Oscarssowhite shambles, it seems that in 2017 the Academy has made a conscious effort to include as much diversity into the show as they possibly can. Unfortunately, the downside of that is that films like 'Moonlight', which are in reality very average, get recognition they don't deserve and people are fooled into thinking they are better than they actually are. 'Moonlight' is a simple film, in fact it's far too simple. There is almost nothing thought-provoking or interesting that happens for the entire 110 minute run time. Yet somehow it's up for a plethora of awards. Go figure.

    Mahershala Ali and Naomie Harris have each been nominated for Academy Awards in their respective Supporting categories. Ali is quite brilliant, in fact he's the highlight of the film. He's in nearly the entire first third of the film and I was starting to wonder how this was considered a "Supporting" role, yet he soon drops away. I wish he had been in it for longer though, because he was quite superb. Harris was also quite good in her role. She has a more spread out performance in the film, reoccurring in each chapter. I wouldn't say she blew me away, but she was certainly solid in her role. I will predict Ali to win his category, and Harris to miss out.

    'Moonlight' is one of those films that just kind of drifts along until the credits role. The question I kept asking myself as I watched it was, what is meant to be so extraordinary about these characters? What part of this story justifies making a film out of it? To me it appears that some impressive acting and some false award nominations have tricked people into thinking this film is better than it is. Very disappointing.
  • When a film comes out and you know next to nothing about it with a director you don't know and a cast of mostly unknowns and it blows you away like it did me. Then I know I'm confronted by something unique. In fact it was director/writer Martin Donovan who wrote about Moonlight, urging all his actors to run and see it. Thank you sir. The faces of those three young men who are just one did something to my brain and to my heart. The best group of actors I've seen in one single film in a long, long time. The big surprise is that we knew it all along. It's all about love and what it means to be a man. Thank you Barry Jenkisns A revolutionary film made of truth and beauty.
  • To solely categorize this film as an examination of Chiron, a young African American who has to deal with being gay is accurate but inadequate. It wouldn't be inadequate to also categorize it as a movie about drug abuse, school bullying, and isolation. However, if someone were to ask me what MOONLIGHT is truly about I would say that, at it's core, it's a film about teaching a child how to swim, feeling the sand on your skin, and cooking a meal for an old friend. Director Berry Jenkins is not afraid to be poetic, to guide his film away from conventional storytelling and offer his audience something to connect to in their own way. The way his camera roams around is sensually magnificent; he knows when to cut to the next shot and when to linger a few seconds longer. But above all else, his ability to add an extra texture to each scene is awe-inspiring; it's more than just style for the sake of style; it's essential to the movie's argument. From the very first shot to the very last, MOONLIGHT is about as beautiful a movie as you're likely to see this year. The colours are rich and luminous; James Laxton's cinematography is visually immersive leaving you stranded inside the story of the film. It moves at a smooth, welcoming pace. The music, whether it be the classical or hip-hop selections as well as Nicholas Britell's subtle score, is perfect. And the performance are, well… they're the cherry on top. It's uncanny how similar the 3 actors, who played the kid, teenage, and adult versions of Chiron behaved and acted; you'd almost think it was the same actor who played all three roles. Mahershala Ali and Naomie Harris are more deserving of Oscar nominations than just about anyone I've seen this year. They may be the standouts, but all the performances, ranging from the children to the adults, are so raw and powerful; a standing ovation for the casting director is in order. But perhaps the thing about this movie that deserves the most acclaim is its open-endedness; it's fight against straightforward categorization and recap. MOONLIGHT so much more than a movie about growing up gay; it's about overcoming your adversities and, despite being a product of your environment, figuring out who you want to become. Identity takes time to discover, and that's something anyone can relate to.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Moonlight represents the end product of a collaboration between Barry Jenkins who wrote the screenplay based on a play by Tarell Alvin McCraney. It has an amazing score of "99" on Metacritic, with the lowest score being "63." When I saw this score my immediate reaction was that this film is no "99." It's a lot closer to that "63," a score attributed to a review put out by Slant Magazine.

    Moonlight is divided into three segments, first focusing on a young African-American boy named Chiron (whose nickname is "Little" in the first segment). When we first meet Little, he's run away from home, alienated from his crack-addicted, abusive mother, Paula. A crack dealer named Juan discovers Little inside an abandoned motel and after learning he's been the victim of bullies, he brings him to the home of his girlfriend, Theresa. Little is mute until he opens up the next morning and tells the couple where he lives.

    Juan eventually forms a relationship with Little, acting as a mentor, despite hostility from the boy's mother. Unfortunately, Juan plays no part in the rest of the film and we eventually learn in the last segment that he's no longer alive. Despite the lugubrious pacing, Moonlight chronicles the tragedy of how drugs can play such a ruinous part in the lives of African-American men and women, residing in the inner city.

    Just at the right moment, Jenkins introduces Chiron as a teenager in the second segment. Here he is referred to by his true name. The withdrawn child is now a withdrawn teenager who is still coping with his crackhead of a mother and is taunted by other teens who regard him as not only passive but possibly homosexual. Jenkins isn't afraid to chronicle additional problems in the African-American community, especially the scourge of bullying.

    The story becomes more interesting when Chiron hooks up with his old childhood friend, Kevin, who leads him to a homosexual encounter on the beach. There's more drama when Kevin participates in a hazing ritual, betraying Chiron by slugging him a number of times in the face, at the behest of the usual suspects of high school bullies. When Chiron smashes a chair over the bully in front of his high school class, he's taken away by the police and placed in a juvenile detention center.

    The third segment focuses on Chiron ten years later—he goes by the name of "Black," an appellation given to him by Kevin when he was in high school. Jenkins makes the mistake of casting the older Chiron with an actor who doesn't resemble the younger high school student Chiron, at all. We find out next to nothing about the older Chiron, except that he's now a hardened drug dealer living in Atlanta.

    After getting a phone call from Kevin, who now works as a cook in Miami, Black goes to visit him there. He first visits his mother who is now a resident at a nursing home and begs his forgiveness for her earlier deleterious behavior. Naomie Harris does a fine job as the repentant mother and the son hugs her, still acknowledging their bond.

    Once Black walks into the small restaurant where Kevin now works, the story is virtually over. You can guess what happens next: Black acknowledges that he's been alone since their encounter in high school—and he agrees to send the night with Kevin, who still has feelings for him, despite having a child with a woman from whom he is now separated.

    Moonlight really runs out of gas in the third act, as Black (Chiron) remains a completely underdeveloped character. The reconciliation, highlighted by tender feelings between two men, is simply not enough to bring the story to a fitful conclusion. Jenkins' final 30 minutes is dragged out where there are no surprises. Moonlight has quite a bit of atmosphere (particularly in the first two acts) and some raw performances (particularly by the child actors), but ultimately the denouement was not thought out clearly enough to pass muster as a film rated almost 100 by an overwhelming majority of major film critics.
  • We all have our place in the world, it can just take a little longer for certain people to decide on both who and what they want to be. Our formative years play a big part in the life we choose, as do the people and environments that surround us. Barry Jenkins' Moonlight is a quite exceptional piece of cinema that explores these ideas in such a wonderful and intimate manner.

    Told through three important stages of Chiron's life; the first being as a young boy nicknamed Little (Alex Hibbert), the second in his teenage years where he is actually referred to as Chiron (Ashton Sanders) and the third being in his adult years where he goes by the nickname Black (Trevante Rhodes), Moonlight depicts his journey of self-discovery and sexuality while growing up in a rough Miami neighbourhood.

    Moonlight is a bold coming-of-age drama from Barry Jenkins that has an important place in today's cinema, becoming a raw and powerful film that speaks volumes in today's climate through evocative performances and a strong narrative that might seem simple upon first viewing but certainly becomes more layered when you look back on it.

    The idea to split Chiron's story into three important stages of his formative years is a stroke of genius from Tarell Alvin McCraney, whose work as a playwright comes into play with the structure and feel of Moonlight. Watching Chiron's life take shape through certain events in his younger years combined with Barry Jenkins' screenplay, capturing a sense of realism, ensures Moonlight as a film that will stay with me for a while.

    I mentioned the intimate manner in which Moonlight handles its subject matter and it really is one of the film's stand-out features, the close relationships that Chiron sparingly experiences and James Laxton's cinematography really honing in on this.

    Coming to the performances, Moonlight is a special film with a cast who each don't get too much time to impress but they sure as hell make the most of their individual opportunities. The narrative dictates that three different actors of different ages were needed to make Moonlight work as a film, leading to Alex Hibbert, Ashton Sanders and Trevante Rhodes giving three impressive and similar performances in the lead role. Chiron is a character of very few words and they all do a lot of their talking with the looks they give to others and their facial expressions.

    The supporting performances in Moonlight are the ones that are getting all the limelight however. Mahershala Ali is the favourite to walk away with the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance as Juan, a drug dealer who has a major impact on Chiron in his younger years. Ali is not in the film an awful lot but he left me wanting to see more of his character, which is the sign of a great performance. I loved the performance given by Naomie Harris more, who stars as Chiron's abusive mother, Paula. Harris, who is up for Best Supporting Actress, gives arguably the best performance of the film, where the drug addiction leads to her character having almost two personalities, one abusive the other nurturing, if only seen briefly.

    To many Moonlight is the biggest threat to La La Land for Best Picture at the Academy Awards, easy to see why with how great a film it is. Moonlight is more than just competition for an award though, it's a lesson in acceptance and how our behaviour towards one another can be more damaging than rewarding.
  • riproar-8326425 January 2017
    Warning: Spoilers
    I watched this film for two hours. Two whole hours that are gone. Forever. The film takes place in Miami. It's about a young black boy who grows up gay in a tough neighborhood. That's it. Lots of sitting on the beach. Lots of talking that doesn't go ANYWHERE. Overall, the film followed a tired format that paints a pretty bland and shallow picture about life in the "hood." Stereotypical characterization of black women. I honestly couldn't tell you the point of this film or write a more a more comprehensive summary because it's a waste of time.

    Why is this up for an award? With the exception of Ali--who is a really good actor whose talent is wasted in this film--I don't get it.
  • Reading other peoples' comments makes me a minority I believe, but there was just something that didn't win me over with Moonlight. Don't get me wrong, my favorite movie genre is drama and I really appreciate deep and artistically made coming-of-age dramas too, but I could barely contain my restlessness in these two hours. There was so little dialogue (and even if it was there, it didn't bear any importance) that it was difficult for me to get to know the characters, let alone like them or care for them. Although the plot may be relatable to some people, it just wasn't original. It felt like one cliché was followed by another.

    Maybe the main problem is that I couldn't wait to watch it, I read so many brilliant reviews and eight Oscar nominations built up my expectations. Well, Moonlight in my opinion was a disappointment and even though I wanted to like it, it just didn't happen. I will still give the movie a 3 because it is not a disaster, the acting is decent and I appreciate the director didn't want to show another story of a white and privileged man. Movies with this type of message are important for our society, but I would not recommend watching this particular one.
  • It is difficult to effectively display certain inner conflicts one may experience during the coming of age, but 'Moonlight' stunningly portrays three chapters in the life of a young, black boy and his struggle whilst growing up gay. Starting off with Little (Alex Hibbert); a boy who is taken under the wing of local drug dealer Juan (Mahershala Ali), followed by him as a teen, referred to as Chiron (Ashton Sanders), slowly uncovering and accepting his sexuality, then finally as a man (Trevante Rhodes), living his life begrudgingly with the burden of his troubled past. All this is then juxtaposed by a very difficult relationship with his mother, Paula, (Naomie Harris), falling in love with his best friend, and getting bullied consistently throughout school. The consequences of each prospect are dealt with astonishingly, somehow illustrating issues that have deep and dark implications with serenity and consideration. It simply is wonderful to watch.

    Some have referred to this feature as "mundane". However, director Barry Jenkins displays the toughness of this boy's life with appropriate genuineness. Amongst it all, Jenkins' unquestionable artistic talent demonstrates a troubled soul who cannot grasp exactly what it is that makes him different with seamless realism. He does this through the subtle ocean imagery every time Chiron encounters something challenging, which ties the narrative together ingeniously. This, combined with an excellent screenplay by Jenkins, inspired by Tarell Alvin McCraney's play, 'In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue', results in a naturally flowing story that makes 'Moonlight' immensely powerful.

    All three actors portray the main character with equal conviction, immersion and entrancing absorption; it certainly feels like an overarching story following one character, a hard task to truly pull off unless, like Richard Linklater's 'Boyhood', you use the same actor over an extended period. Ali's supporting role as the complicated, good-willed drug dealer, Juan, is indeed praiseworthy but it is Harris' performance that is most awe-inspiring. Certainly Oscar worthy, her marvellous display as Chiron's damaged, drug addicted mother is one that particularly stands out, despite the movie in itself being an incredible cinematic experience altogether. The extra layer of Juan being Paula's supplier adds further gravity to the situation, which is, to put it frankly, just one of many factors in the movie that pull delicately at your heartstrings. Jenkins successfully sustains the emotional attachment throughout, and has created an absolute serene picture; it is difficult to resist a rewatch.

    Intricately and carefully crafted, 'Moonlight' truly does shine as a masterwork, conveying emotions in their utmost complexity as part of a story where, in reality, 'little' happens (pun intended). Barry Jenkins comes to the forefront as an emerging talent in directing, with the standard set so high, it is now intriguing to anticipate just what his next project, 'A Contract with God' (a three-part directed feature), will be like.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I'm extremely lost as to why this movie has received so much praise. It was like watching a cake bake at 200 degrees and taking it out after 2 hours -- nothing to show for. Just a bunch of warm ingredients in a pan.

    Barely any character development, and no flavor. It was set in Miami, and as a (black) Miami native (who currently lives here), I didn't get any Miami vibes. The characters did not look or act Miami (for lack of better words). This was distracting and disappointing to me. Like, what was the mother's accent??? And Theresa didn't look like a Miami hood chick at all. It annoyed the hell out of me that she had the same weave in when Chiron was 8 as when he was 16. How, Sway? Miami girls switch up their wigs and weaves weekly. They should have cast Miami natives.

    Secondly, the casting of young adult Kevin & Chiron was dreadful. Chiron went from being an awkward-looking, not so attractive teenager to quite attractive eye candy as a young adult (mmm, he was fine!). Teenage Chiron had some pretty notable facial features (which added to his awkwardness) that adult Chiron bore no resemblance to. I think the awkwardness as a teen was a central part of the character's identity. I understand that he became more streetwise and confident when he moved to Atlanta, but it was also clear that he strangely remained asexual since that experience with Kevin when he was 16. That is NOT normal -- to me that screams awkward and undeveloped adult... not the sexy, full of swag young adult that Black was. The transition was too extreme and the remaining awkwardness we should have seen was no where to be found. I would have liked to see young adult Black as more average looking, and somehow exuding his more streetwise ways, *despite* his awkwardness. (And I'm sorry, the shyness did not come through as awkwardness to me.) This was very distracting and showed a complete lack of attention to casting.

    Kevin went from looking kind of mixed as a kid and teenager to not at all as an adult. Disappointing choice there, too.

    Let's not even talk about that horrible attempt at grey hair on the mom of adult Chiron. Why didn't they give the lady a damn wig.

    As for the rest of the movie, if you're going to have a slow moving drama like this, character development is so important. I should have felt attached to the characters. Unspoken things should have made more of a punch, like Juan's death. I wasn't even sure if it was his funeral they were referring to. They could have done so much better with that. At the end of the movie, I didn't really feel anything for anyone. Except a from Trevante Rhodes. I had all the feelings for him. LOL. I could have seen more of him with his shirt off, since that was the highlight of the movie.
  • The reviewer's dilemma (and it is a dilemma reviewers LOVE to encounter) is, in a superb film with superb acting all around, a superb script, and superb directing, you still need to pay special attention to those actors that, in such a competitive environment, stand out as something "extra" special.

    In this mesmerizing film, special attention has to go to two actors who steal every scene they are in and silently promise the viewer that the long and bountiful careers ahead of them will deliver even better performances down the road.

    I am referring first to Mahershala Ali, whose magnetic presence made him the centerpiece of Luke Cage (where he competes with, and surpasses, actors with much greater experience). If you watch this actor closely, not only is he in the moment, but his body seems to be in constant motion even when he is sitting still. Like a hummingbird. Awesome to behold and although he has been lately playing characters of "dubious morality" one gets the feeling he could play a hero just as easily.

    And then there is the performance of Naomie Harris, a performance so strong and memorable that I began to recall that, in the Golden Age of films, they used to refer to performances like hers as "searing" -- but lately I have not seen the term used very often in a review.

    So in honor of Ms. Harris I will say for the record that her performance in this film -- with minimal screen time -- is searing and unforgettable.

    Highly recommended.
  • robsash30 January 2017
    Warning: Spoilers
    Without a doubt this should be at the top of the most overrated movies of 2016. I cannot believe that I managed to stay awake during this trite story that goes absolutely nowhere. Not sure what message the director was trying to convey, but it utterly lost in the unbelievably slow pace and sleep inducing dialogue. Evidently this is supposed to be a story about a young, black man who is coming to terms with being gay in the gang/drug culture of Miami. Maybe that's a good story line, but it is impossible to relate to any of the characters due to the horribly boring writing. Definitely a movie to be missed. Borderline unwatchable and certainly not deserving of an Oscar nomination.
  • Gattodr22 February 2017
    I was very excited to see this movie, but got very disappointed with what I saw. Despite the good performance of Naomi Harris, the move is very boring for me taste. The movie is very slow and way overrated. I really don't see the deal with the performance of Mr. Ali but maybe it's just me...
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I watched it cause of your hyper-critics, and deeply disagree with them.

    The acting is stereotypical, insisted, and uninteresting. Characters are all obvious, and repeat themselves one generation after another. The camera doesn't dig beyond surface, and photography is shallow and uninteresting. Dialogues!? A little drama, so far the protagonist is aphasic. If l were black, l'd consider it a bad racial movie, so far those (all black) characters are depicted in polarised, mechanical way. No hope, no change. The shooting is lengthy and misses suspense. A few lyrical moments, when old time friends meet up again, are reasonably, yet obviously, good. I wasted time and money, TV has much more on offer daily
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I bought a pass from our local theater to see all the Oscar nominated movies for best picture this week, right before the Oscars. Moonlight was my number 5, and I was really excited about seeing it. I had no idea what it was about, like the other movies I saw already (Hidden Figures, Hell or High Water, Arrival, Hacksaw Ridge so far). I really enjoyed the other four movies so far, so I was expecting a movie on the same par as these. This movie was so bad that I created an account on here just so I could leave a review and save others the agony of seeing this piece of garbage. It was the most pretentious thing I've seen, and worst movie I've ever seen (and I saw the first 3 seconds of Two Girls One Cup). I kept waiting for it to get good. 10 minutes, 20, 30, 60, 90?! And then boom, the movie was over with no plot (of which there was none) resolution to be seen. I really don't know what it was about. I cannot fathom why this thing was nominated for anything, except for a Razzie, and now I keep wondering if Asthon Kutcher is gonna show up at the Oscars and tell the director he was punk'd for being nominated. I hate to say it, but I think the only reason it was nominated and reviewed so highly by the powers that be, is because of white guilt, and that's the simple and plain truth. Hollywood is trying to avoid the mad black actors from last year (Hi Jada S.) that were mad at there being no people of color being nominated, so this pile of crap was given its affirmative action place with some other movies that were actually well made.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I cannot remember the last time that I got up and walked out of the movie theater but it's been decades. Well, that's exactly what I did today after stomaching about 45 minutes of this very poorly written, poorly directed, slow story of despair, desperation, and misery.

    I also can't believe people are actually giving this trash of a movie good reviews.

    It was depressing from the start, but I gave the movie a chance because I wanted to believe they were going somewhere with the story. I was right, they were going somewhere with the story all right.

    It's a gay love story that seemed to have no purpose or meaning other than someone wanting to make a movie about a dysfunctional, drug addicted "mother/son relationship and how he grew up bullied and confused about his life and sexuality.

    Both thumbs down. Horrible waste of time and money. First time I ever asked the theater management for my money back. Booooooo!!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    If you love long drawn-out scenes with no dialogue, trite characters, and around an hour too long, then this is the film for you.

    The main character lives with a junkie mom, yet always appears bandbox fresh?

    The main character, is habitually, and is known for speaking slowly, or not at all! and with few words when he does. Slow doesn't begin to cover the tediousness of this habit on screen.

    This is just one more message film beating one over the head... okay we get it!

    Artistic? No way! Pretentious as hell.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Everything you read about this one is a lie. It's not a masterpiece, will not "open your eyes". What we have is a man-on-man love story about a boy called Little who suspects he's "different" and is told so (in no easy terms) by his classmates. When he slams one of these guys in the head with a chair his life of crime begins, as he evolves into a successful but lonely drug dealer (Sweet!). When he reconnects with the guy who seduced him it becomes a happily-ever-after affair. As a Street Drama the movie is lame. The makers of this film, and the reviewers, are spineless deceivers. If they had the courage of their convictions they'd be up-front concerning what the movie is about.
  • donmacd6230 December 2016
    When Moonlight ended, a woman a few rows back said,"Is that it?" That was exactly what I was thinking. This movie received so many excellent reviews from critics, and awards and nominations galore, that I assumed it must be quite good. Unfortunately, I do not agree with these critics or the various award giving entities in this case. I do not think it should have ever been nominated for best picture or best director. I give it a 4 out of ten. Moonlight is not entertaining, nor is it interesting. I can only guess that they thought it was politically correct to give a movie about a bullied,gay, black teen a good review because of all the controversy surrounding the Academy Awards supposed lack of ethnic diversity. I would nominate Denzel Washington's "Fences" instead.
  • A film adapted from a play by Tarell McCraney, Moonlight is the cinematic fictional tale of a young black male growing up in Liberty City, a tough neighborhood in Miami. I was attracted to this movie for a number of reasons; it has an African American director, an all black cast, and the trailer is one of the most compelling I have seen in a while. Moonlight has been getting extensive critical acclaim and after viewing it for myself, I can attest that it is well deserved. The lead character, Chiron has to deal with bullying from the neighborhood kids, neglect from his drug addicted mother, as well as the overwhelming confusion about his sexuality.

    In this coming of age story, director Barry Jenkins illustrates this fable using three chapters. The first chapter follows Chiron through his childhood, while the next chapter picks up with Chiron in high school. The final chapter depicts Chiron as a young man. I enjoyed the way the movie transitioned from one chapter to the next; each chapter ending at a pivotal moment in Chiron's life and the following chapter starting with little mention of what took place in the interim. At times, characters would briefly mention events that occurred outside of the movie's time frame in a way that does not feel forced, much like the film's seamless dialogue. Characters' exchanges have a genuineness that leaves the viewer feeling as if they are eavesdropping on real conversations. It is almost as if the dialogue is not scripted at all; a testament to the high quality of the performances.

    The acting is first class all around; from the three lesser-known actors playing Chiron, to the more recognizable stars like Janelle Monae and Mahershala Ali. Every actor played a major part in contributing to my emotional investment in the film and the characters. Mahershala Ali's name has been mentioned quite frequently in regard to a possible Oscar nomination for his portrayal of Chiron's father figure Juan, but the standout performance in my eyes comes from Naomie Harris. She plays Chiron's mother Paula, and is the only actor in each chapter of the movie. Ali puts forth a heart-wrenching performance through which the viewer can watch her character evolve from one chapter to the next alongside Chiron. At times it was very difficult to watch because Ali's performance feels so authentic, leaving the viewer feeling even more empathetic towards Chiron.

    I enjoyed Moonlight because I related heavily to the main character. As a youth I was shy, introverted, and did not fit in with other boys my age, similar to Chiron. Out of a desire to fit in, I conformed to the societal norms set in place for young black males. I pretended to enjoy activities in which I had no interest. In doing so, I lost sight of who I was and what made me happy, which is illustrated beautifully in Moonlight.

    As much as I enjoyed Moonlight, I have to admit I found the ending to be anticlimactic. There are many character arcs the movie left unexplained that worked most of the time, but I expected more from the ending. However, I reminded myself that cinema is an art form, and the best art is left to the spectator to interpret. With that being said, Moonlight is a film that everyone should see to come to his or her own conclusion. After further processing Moonlight, I have grown to enjoy how it ended and have found it to be one of the best films I have seen this year. If you are a fan of cinema like myself and appreciate exceptional acting, great storytelling, and beautiful cinematography, I urge you to support Moonlight.
  • atomasmoreno11 February 2017
    The photography of this movie is more than amazing, but the plot is really poor. Slow, predictable and specially there are many issues not explained. And we do have to believe this is a nice ending? It tries to be a copycat from Boyhood and even more, from Truffaut series... This year Oscar's selection are really disappointing. Teresa and specially Blue are interesting characters and then suddenly we do not know anything else from them. Bullying in the school is so often, I suffered... buy we then wonder if he goes to a special school or what happened? Moved to Atlanta? why? when? Too many gaps. Last but not least, looks really weird that Chiron can be the same boy from 17 to the last chapter (Black). The three actors play very well but the idea of the director of not making them meet for me is wrong... too different. Solitude is a way specific feeling.
  • mtrossides3 September 2016
    Told in three parts, the story of a bullied boy ('Little") growing up with a lack of love and guidance in the slums of Miami, his life as an isolated, beleaguered teenager ("Chiron") and finally his persona and relationships as a man ("Black" ).

    Script, directing, acting, cinematography, music were all outstanding. The acting will blow you away.

    The themes at play have rarely been given such a realistic rendering. You feel as if you are watching a real boy cope with the strange unfairness he finds at every turn. And you are grateful for the occasional kindnesses he receives. The audience I was with at Telluride LOVED it. I feel it is a masterpiece.
  • "Moonlight" may very well be a breath of fresh air to others who are tired to death of our culture's obsession with labeling and categorizing everything in an attempt to understand it. If it can't be easily categorized, it's either frightening and something to be opposed to, or it's abnormal and therefore something to be marginalized.

    The main conflict at the heart of "Moonlight," a beautiful movie about a young black man's coming of age in poor and drug-afflicted Miami, is our protagonist's inability to define himself in terms that his environment will allow. He doesn't fit into any of the categories available to him, so he sets out to force himself into one that seems like the best option. His name is Chiron, and the movie shows him to us at three stages of his life, portrayed by three different but wonderful actors. As a little boy, he struggles with loneliness and neglect thanks to a crack-addicted mom (played by Naomie Harris) and takes to the first person who offers to be a father figure to him. In a Dickensian twist, this person happens to be a drug dealer who nevertheless offers him sympathy and understanding not to be found anywhere else. The middle section depicts Chiron as a young man navigating his emerging homosexuality and the high school bullying that goes along with it. In the film's final and most breathtaking sequence, we follow Chiron as a man in his twenties to a reunion with a high school friend who gave him his first gay experience and whom he's never been able to completely move on from. This entire sequence is directed, written, and acted with utmost delicacy.

    I can't think of a movie in recent memory that puts loneliness and anguish on screen more effectively than "Moonlight." It's a movie that asks us to see life from the perspective of a very specific individual but then draws universal conclusions from it that makes the superficial differences between him and the viewer (I'm not black, I'm not gay, I didn't grow up in a poor urban environment) melt away until you feel deep compassion and sympathy for a fellow human being who is doing what we all are -- navigating the complexities of living on this world and making the best of it we can.

    Grade: A
  • asterhune26 February 2017
    Yes, it had good acting. Yes, it was technically well made. But there's no there there. For us it never achieved liftoff. It kept plodding on and on, nothing really wrong with it, but nothing to justify spending two hours on. In the end (and at the end) we were left wondering, why is the end now? Why not 30 minutes before or 30 minutes after? Possibly a good movie for film buffs/critics who are tired of the same old thing, but for the occasional movie goer, we can do better.
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