It’s not too often that you have a film that seeps into your bones and settles in there. Winner of three Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Adapted Screenplay, Moonlight manages to do just that.
Based on the previously unpublished play ‘In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue’ by McCraney, Moonlight is a coming of age story of ‘Chiron’ who is brought to life on screen in three defining stages, a child, a teenager and an adult, played by three different actors. As a boy of eight or so, nicknamed Little, he is depicted by Alex Hibbert; as a teenager, he is played by Ashton Sanders; and as a grown man who has taken the name Black, Trevante Rhodes wears the skin of the character.
The movie is filled with highly moving performances by the likes of André Holland, Naomie Harris, Janelle Monáe. Mahershala Ali’s portrayal of drug dealer Juan made him the first Muslim person to ever win an Oscar.
Directed by Barry Jenkins, the movie has set a number of records. Apart from being the lowest-budgeted film to win the prize in over six decades, it’s the first movie centered on an LGBTQ character to be named Best Picture, and the first whose cast consists entirely of people of color.
As the film progresses, it delves into a much broader inspection into identity as a whole. It shows the effects of Chiron’s difficult upbringing with his drug-addict mother, Paula, and high school tussles affecting his future outlook. Moonlight takes a different approach to depicting the lives of those involved with drugs, choosing to erase the image of drug dealers as monsters while placing a heavier burden on addicts instead.
The movie succeeds in moving the story of Chiron off the screen and embedding it into the hearts of viewers who are guaranteed to be thinking of it for a long time after they leave the cinema.
Moonlight is in cinemas now. Have a look at the trailer below.